What a weekend! Dublin overcame Wexford, Tyrone were knocked out of the Ulster Championship and Cork got their revenge against Clare. Here are the top performers from the weekend’s games.
5. Mattie Donnelly – Tyrone
Even though he came out on the losing side, Donnelly’s performance could not be overlooked. He was everywhere in defence and dispersed the ball sensibly. As well as this, Donnelly knocked over 0-3 from centre back, all from play. When Tyrone were down and out, it was Donnelly who was leading the revival. Even in the last 10 minutes, Donnelly kept making runs up field as he tried to keep his county in the Ulster Championship.
4. Conal Keaney – Dublin
Dublin faced a stiff test against Wexford on Saturday evening, and Keaney played a key role in getting them to the Leinster Hurling decider. Keaney’s contribution of 0-5, all from open play, only tells half the story of his classy performance. Another dual star in this Top 5, Keaney slotted point after point under a lot of duress. Left or right, it didn’t matter for Conal, and his superb vision came to the fore with exquisite assists for his teammates.
3. Patrick Horgan – Cork
Clare were guilty of a lot of fouling in scorable positions against Cork in Thurles, and this in turn handed Patrick Horgan the opportunity to showcase his awesome free taking abilities. From start to finish, Horgan was unerringly perfect from placed balls and his final contribution of 2-11 was the difference. Of course, Cork’s other forwards were winning these frees, but it’s hard to believe that any other Rebel would have been able to convert every opportunity with such military-like precision.
2. Fintan Kelly – Monaghan
Kelly was one of the principle reasons for Monaghan’s historic victory over Tyrone in the Ulster Championship. He was tenacious in defence and efficient in attack, notching up two points. Along with Drew Wiley, who kept Stephen O’Neill completely out of proceedings, Kelly was outstanding in the full back line as they frustrated a potentially dangerous attack. Kelly bounded up and down the pitch all day and his support play was very impressive, contributing to a fine performance.
1. Aidan Walsh – Cork
Yesterday, Walsh proved that he is a dual star once and for all, and not just a footballer playing hurling. He has built a formidable partnership with the wiry Daniel Kearney in midfield, and this was the platform for Cork’s five point victory. Walsh continuously won ball and used it well to set up scores. He covered every inch of grass and cut out one vital ball on his own 21 metre line to prevent a goal chance for Clare.
John Ivory, Pundit Arena.