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Top Five Players from the Weekend’s GAA Action

John Ivory is here to discuss the top five performances from this weekend’s action-packed GAA schedule at Croke Park.

Croke Park looked like it was situated in two different planets over the weekend, such was the variation in weather conditions. Saturday saw two football quarter finals played out on a sunny afternoon, while the All-Ireland semi-final clash of Kilkenny and Limerick was played out in monsoon-like conditions. Here, John Ivory ranks the top five performers.

Honourable Mentions:

Declan Hannon came of age for Limerick with an immense 0-5 from play. Shane Dowling was also on song for the Treaty Men. Colin Fennelly’s 0-4 was crucial for Kilkenny, and Eoin Larkin also played a big role. Anthony Thompson has a very good game for Donegal.

The Dublin forwards took turns in tormenting Monaghan and Cian O’Sullivan put in a sterling display. Monaghan’s Colin Walshe had an immense opening 25 minutes and stuck at the task well.

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5. Tony Kernan – Armagh

What Michael Murphy is for Donegal, Kernan is for Armagh. The Crossmaglen man was everywhere Saturday evening in search of the ball. In their transition from blanket defence to blanket attack, Kernan is often the man bringing the ball forward at pace.

He is well able for this role and uses the ball sensibly, feeding the inside forwards, or taking the shot himself – finishing with 0-3 from play. Aaron Kernan, Stephen Harold, Jamie Clarke and Stefan Campbell also impressed.

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4. Rory O’Carroll – Dublin

We all knew Dublin could score but what we didn’t know was how their defence would stand up to some very top class, on form, forwards in the shape of Hughes and McManus. O’Carroll was handed the task of marking the talismanic McManus, and when it mattered, the Dubliner came out on top.

He didn’t try to do too much with the ball, just made sure McManus didn’t have it, and gave short, simply, but effective passes to men further up the pitch.

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3. Michael Murphy – Donegal

In Murphy, Donegal have the epitome of captain fantastic. He did not shirk his duties against Armagh and led from the front. As is in keeping with Donegal’s system, he found himself all over the park and got on the ball a phenomenal amount of times.

When Donegal were struggling to click into gear, Murphy struck over some vital frees to keep them in the game. His performance was capped off with a tally of 0-5 and an all-round awesome performance.

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2. Seamus Hickey – Limerick

Hickey is someone who seems to be around for donkey’s years, and the 26-year-old Murroe-Boher man’s performance reeked of experience. He excelled in the task of marking T.J. Reid – or whoever was put in front of him. Never once was he behind his man and won more balls than any cornerback is expected to.

His stylish way of playing saw him utilise the ball well and had an excellent games in defence along with fellow warriors Richie McCarthy and Tom Condon.

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1. Richie Hogan – Kilkenny

While the Powers or Fennellys might get the majority of the scores, Kilkenny would be in a lot of trouble without the diminutive colossal, Hogan. Even in the Croke Park vastness, Hogan managed to be in the right place at the right time more often than most. He got on the ball and dictated the play well.

He is extremely good at linking the play and midfield is certainly his best position. He took his goal extremely well, one of two well-timed blows to Limerick’s cause, and the Cats will need him to replicate this form in September.

John Ivory, Pundit Arena.

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Author: The PA Team

This article was written by a member of The PA Team.