Tuesday, December 05, 2017

It’s the time of the year when people get nostalgic and have more time on their hands than at the height of the GAA season so it’s often the time of year when teams of the…….are put together and they always generate plenty of debate.
One such team landed in my inbox last week and it’s sure to generate plenty of talking points. It’s Centra’s #WeAreHurling campaign and they tasked legendary RTE commentator Micheál Ó Muircheartaigh and All-Ireland winning Cork captain, Seán óg Ó hAilpín with coming up with the best hurling team of the last 25 years.
Both men picked their own teams, and then debated, argued and bargained their way to a combined 15.
Despite the fact that it was the period when Waterford hurling really returned to centre stage and was part of some of of the greatest games of that era, only one Waterford man made the cut and it’s hard to argue with the inclusion of Mount Sion’s Ken McGrath. Although Ken could easily have been picked in the backs or the forwards, the judges chose him in the middle of the field alongside the great Limerick player, Ciaran Carey.
‘The spirit of Waterford,’ is how Micheál Ó Muircheartaigh described him, while Sean Og O hAilpín said ‘it’s a crysing shame that this man doesn’t have a Celtic Cross.’ While most positions on the team were hotly contested, Ken was one of the few unanimous selections.
While it’s a good team, the likes of John Mullane and Tony Browne will surely feel hard done by, but all counties will have players that they felt could have made the list. Such teams will never please everyone…that’s for sure. Well done Ken.

You can watch the full video by searching for #WeAreHurling – Team of the last 25 years

The team itself contained five Kilkenny men, four from Cork and one from Waterford, Clare, Offaly, Limerick, Galway and Tipperary.

The team in full is:
1)      Dónal Óg Cusack         (Cork)
2)      J.J. Delaney                 (Kilkenny)
3)      Brian Lohan                 (Clare)
4)      Diarmuid O’Sullivan    (Cork)
5)      Tommy Walsh             (Kilkenny)
6)      Brian Corcoran           (Cork)
7)      Brian Whelahan          (Offaly)
8)      Ken McGrath               (Waterford)
9)      Ciarán Carey               (Limerick)
10)  Ben O’Connor             (Cork)
11)  Joe Canning                 (Galway)
12)  D.J. Carey                    (Kilkenny)
13)  Eoin Kelly                    (Tipperary)
14)  Henry Shefflin             (Kilkenny)
15)  Eddie Brennan            (Kilkenny).

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