Tyrone win eight All-Stars as Kieran McGeary and Cian Lynch win individual awards

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Tyrone Win Eight All-Stars As Kieran Mcgeary And Cian Lynch Win Individual Awards Tyrone Win Eight All-Stars As Kieran Mcgeary And Cian Lynch Win Individual Awards
Mayo claimed three All-Stars as did Kerry including the Clifford brothers, David and Paudie
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Digital Desk Staff

Limerick's Cian Lynch this evening claimed his second PwC GAA-GPA All-Star hurler of the year award while Tyrone’s Kieran McGeary was crowned footballer of 2020.

All-Ireland senior football champions Tyrone, with eight PwC All-Stars, also equalled their previous best haul recorded in 2005.

Mayo claimed three as did Kerry including the Clifford brothers, David and Paudie, the first siblings since the Brogans, Alan and Bernard in 2011, to be honoured in the same football team.

Turning 26 in January. Lynch who also picked up his third All-Star, won the top individual honour in 2018.

He was nominated for the shortlist alongside team-mates Seán Finn, now a four-time All-Star, and former young hurler of the year and two-time All-Star Kyle Hayes.

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Lynch is now one behind Henry Shefflin in terms of the individual accolade.

Nominated alongside team-mate Conor Meyler and 2016 footballer of the year Lee Keegan, McGeary is the first Tyrone man to win footballer of the year since Seán Cavanagh in 2008. Before him, Stephen O’Neill was handed the accolade in ‘05 and Peter Canavan in 1995 - Canavan was awarded the Texaco gong in ‘03.

For the second year in succession, Kilkenny’s Eoin Cody and Mayo’s Oisín Mullin were named as young hurler and footballer of the year (U21). Cody’s feat matches that of Tipperary’s Eoin Kelly who completed the back-to-back in 2001 and ‘02. He is the third Kilkenny winner in a row after his Ballyhale Shamrocks club-mate Adrian Mullen was honoured in 2019.

Kilmaine man Mullin matches the accomplishments of his fellow Mayo men, the O’Connor brothers. Diarmuid was crowned in 2015 and ‘16 and Cillian in 2011 and ‘12.

The nominations for the top individual player awards are decided by the All-Stars selection committees and the eventual winners chosen from those lists by inter-county players on a proportional representation basis.

Shortlisted with Cody was Cork’s Shane Barrett and Aidan McCarthy of Clare. Mullin won a vote including Galway’s Matthew Tierney and Tyrone starlet Darragh Canavan.

Tyrone’s All-Star collection bettered their 2008 total by one and their ‘03 number by one. Six of their eight recipients were first-time winners, captain Pádraig Hampsey and Peter Harte collecting their second awards.

Altogether, there were nine first-timers, making it the freshest All-Stars football team since 2015 when there were also nine players winning awards for the first time.

Although Rory Beggan had a fine season, Tyrone goalkeeper Niall Morgan was a certainty and slightly unlucky not to make the footballer of the year shortlist where Kieran McGeary and Conor Meyler were nominated and in turn had been certain of picking up All-Stars.

Mayo’s trio of Lee Keegan, collecting his fifth All-Star, and first-timers Matthew Ruane in midfield and forward Ryan O’Donoghue, who took over freetaking duties from injured Cillian O’Connor, was one better than their return on last season’s All-Ireland final appearance.

Keegan, now 32, rolled back the years with some incredible performances on Mayo’s way to the final and while Ruane didn’t have a great final his form up to that point made him the standout midfielder this past season.

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For outscoring his markers during the championship and shutting down the majority of them, Tom O’Sullivan’s selection was an obvious one as was Paudie Clifford given he had produced back-to-back official man-of-the-match winning performances in his first full senior season.

In just his fourth year, David Clifford brought his All-Star total to three having delivered a masterful performance against Tyrone before having to make way at the end of normal time due to injury. Despite being held scoreless in the Munster final, his displays from the league onwards were too good to be ignored.

Despite Dublin’s seven-in-a-row tilt being stopped by Mayo at the semi-final stage, Ciarán Kilkenny’s consistency of performance saw him earn a fifth All-Star, the most recognised footballer in the team alongside Keegan.

It’s the lowest number of Dublin All-Stars since 2012, incidentally Kilkenny’s senior debut season, when Paul Flynn was the only recipient from the capital. Kilkenny is also the only survivor from last year’s All-Stars team.

Mayo’s Paddy Durcan, another 2019 All-Star who appeared to be in footballer of the year form after the All-Ireland semi-final, was also a consideration and Conn Kilpatrick had support after his display in September’s final.

All-Star Football team: Niall Morgan (Tyrone, 1st All-Star); Pádraig Hampsey (Tyrone, 2nd All-Star 2018); Lee Keegan (Mayo, 5th All-Star, 2012, ‘13, ‘15, ‘16); Tom O’Sullivan (Kerry, 2nd All-Star 2019); Conor Meyler (Tyrone, 1st All-Star); Kieran McGeary (Tyrone, 1st All-Star); Peter Harte (Tyrone, 2nd All-Star 2016); Brian Kennedy (Tyrone, 1st All-Star); Matthew Ruane (Mayo, 1st All-Star); Niall Sludden (Tyrone, 1st All-Star); Paudie Clifford (Kerry, 1st All-Star); Ciarán Kilkenny (Dublin, 5th All-Star 2015, ‘16, ‘18, ‘20); Darren McCurry (Tyrone, 1st All-Star); David Clifford (Kerry, 3rd All-Star 2018, ‘19); Ryan O’Donoghue (Mayo, 1st All-Star).

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