Here is an in-depth look at some of the top performers from this weekend’s hurling action. Once again there was a jam packed schedule of GAA action as we head into the business end of the summer. The Munster hurling and Connaught football honours were up for grabs, as well as All-Ireland qualifying games in both codes. John Ivory ranks the weekend’s standout performers.
1. Conor Lehane – Cork
When Cork weren’t in the game on Sunday, Lehane was. He kept them ticking over with vital points when they hadn’t hit their stride and it was central to the Rebels’ success. His useful knack of finding space saw him end with 0-5 from play. Along with Bill Cooper and Seamus Harnedy, Lehane led the way in a prolific half-forward line that got on top and saw Cork over the line.
2. Liam Óg McGovern – Wexford
McGovern was the definition of a thorn in Clare’s side. No matter who Davy Fitz employed to mark him, McGovern had the beating of them all. In truth, it was a team performance from Wexford. Lee Chin was a colossal at centre back. Andrew Shore turned in another workmanlike display and Jack Guiney was near perfect from frees. McGovern’s running game was a constant danger, and he contributed a handy 0-2.
3. Aidan Walsh – Cork
Limerick started well around the midfield area, but thanks to Walsh, ably assisted by Daniel Kearney, Cork turned the tide. If hurling ever had a ‘box-to-box’ midfielder, Walsh is the embodiment of this role. He burst forward to knock over Cork’s first score of the day and finished with 0-2. However, some of his best work came in defence where he gathered numerous balls and set Cork on the path to victory.
4. Graeme Mulcahy/Shane Dowling – Limerick
Limerick conceded more than usual on Sunday, so clinical finishing upfront was needed to keep them in the game. After a slightly nervy start, Dowling (0-12, 0-9 from frees) found his rhythm and sent free after free over Nash’s bar. Mulcahy was living off scraps but showed how dangerous a forward he is with 0-3 from play. Paul Browne and Wayne McNamara were outstanding for Limerick also, and they will be optimistic going forward.
5. John Conlon – Clare/ Seamus Callanan – Tipperary
Conlon was simply outstanding. Clare had to battle for every score against Wexford, and Conlon was their star performer in attack. His 1-5, all from open play showed that class really is permanent. Callanan put in another massive scoring performance this weekend against Offaly. He scored an incredible 2-10, with 2-3 coming from play. He was solid from placed balls and also set up Lar Corbett for a goal.
John Ivory, Pundit Arena.