THE passing of the All-Ireland baton to Tipperary means that, for only the fourth time in 11 seasons, Kilkenny don’t dominate the All Star hurling team.
That honour goes to the new All-Ireland champions, who won six awards, with Kilkenny on five and Waterford on three, while Damien Hayes is Galway’s sole representative.
Brendan Cummins, Paul Curran, Brendan Maher, Noel McGrath, Lar Corbett and Eoin Kelly are the Tipperary All Stars, while there were double honours for Corbett and Maher, who won the Hurler of the Year and the Young Hurler of the Year awards respectively.
Jackie Tyrrell, Tommy Walsh, JJ Delaney, Michael Fennelly and Richie Power are Kilkenny’s representatives; Noel Connors, Michael ‘Brick’ Walsh and John Mullane fly the Waterford flag while Galway’s Hayes won his second award.
Henry Shefflin, whose season was wrecked by a knee injury sustained in the All-Ireland semi-final against Cork, misses out after winning eight successive awards, a landmark now reached by his colleague, Walsh, who has been included on every All Star team since 2003.
Shefflin’s omission leaves him on nine awards, a haul also held by DJ Carey, while Walsh has eight awards, won in four different lines. Shefflin won the first of his nine awards in 2000 but missed out in 2001 before being selected for the next eight seasons.
Cummins held off the challenge of Donal Og Cusack and Clinton Hennessy to win his fifth goalkeeping award, having taken his first 10 years ago. He was also honoured in 2001, 2003 and 2008. Kelly moves onto six after getting the No 15 jersey in an attack which features three Tipperary men. It’s his first award since 2006 and moves him alongside Nicky English as the most successful Tipperary men in the 40-year history of the All Stars.
Tipperary have three forwards on the team but didn’t do as well in defence, where Curran is their only representative alongside three Kilkenny and two Waterford men.
Delaney won his fifth award and Tyrrell took his fourth, while ‘Brick’ Walsh picked up his third, having also been selected in 2007 and 2009. Mullane also won his third award in the full-forward line.
The newcomers to the All Star roll of honour are Connors, Curran, Maher, Power and Fennelly. Power’s selection makes it a special event for the family as his father — also named Richie — won an All Star award at left half-forward in 1982. Tommy Walsh and his namesake ‘Brick’, Tyrrell, McGrath and Mullane all won awards for the second successive year.