Kilkenny dominate All-Star team


GAA: It will hardly come as any great surprise to find three-in-a-row All-Ireland hurling champions Kilkenny dominated the Vodafone sponsored All-Stars line-up this year but the Cats managed a record-equalling haul of nine awards

The news got better for Kilkenny as Henry Shefflin went into the record books with unprecedented seventh successive award while Eoin Larkin won the Player of the Year Award
This year's haul equals the record set by Kilkenny in 1983 and replicated again by them in 2000.

GAA President Nickey Brennan made the announcements at tonight's gala All Stars banquet in the CityWest Hotel where the Football All-Stars were also honoured after they were announced on Wednesday.

Galway's Joe Canning was rewarded for a magnificent debut season, including an unforgettable performance in his county's qualifier defeat to Cork, by being named Young Hurler of the Year.

The equivalent awards in football were also announced tonight, with Tyrone's All-Ireland final man-of-the-match Seán Cavanagh receiving the Player of the Year Award and Kerry's new attacking powerhouse Tommy Walsh scooping the Young Player of the Year award.

In all, five counties are represented on this year's hurling All-Stars selection, with players from beaten All-Ireland finalists Waterford as well as Cork, Galway and Munster champions Tipperary, joining the nine Kilkenny stars on this year's selection.

Shefflin's pursuit of the record number of All-Star awards continues as he became the first player to be selected on seven consecutive occasions. This is his eighth award in all and he is now just one short of the record jointly held by his former team-mate DJ Carey and Kerry football legend Pat Spillane.

Shefflin's Kilkenny team mate Tommy Walsh, who is the only player ever to be selected in defence, midfield and attack for the All-Stars, was selected for a sixth consecutive year.

The four first-time winners in this year's selection are Tipperary's Conor O'Mahony and Shane McGrath, Larkin for Kilkenny and Galway's Joe Canning, Galway.

2008 Hurling All-Stars

Brendan Cummins (Tipperary)

Full Backs:
Michael Kavanagh (Kilkenny)            
Noel Hickey (Kilkenny)                      
Jackie Tyrrell (Kilkenny)                    
Half Backs:
Tommy Walsh (Kilkenny)               
Conor O'Mahony (Tipperary)
JJ Delaney (Kilkenny)                     

James 'Cha' Fitzpatrick (Kilkenny)
Shane McGrath (Tipperary) 

Half Forwards:
Ben O'Connor (Cork)                    
Henry Shefflin (Kilkenny)             
Eoin Larkin (Kilkenny)

Full Forwards:
Eddie Brennan (Kilkenny)   
Eoin Kelly (Waterford) 
Joe Canning (Galway)

Player of the Year Awards:
Hurler of the Year: Eoin Larkin (Kilkenny)
Young Hurler of the Year: Joe Canning (Galway)

2008 Football All-Stars

Gary Connaughton (Westmeath)

Full Backs
Conor Gormley (Tyrone)  
Justin McMahon (Tyrone)
John Keane (Westmeath)                   

Half Backs
Davy Harte (Tyrone)    
Tomás Ó Sé (Kerry)                           
Philip Jordan (Tyrone)                       

Enda McGinley (Tyrone)
Shane Ryan (Dublin)

Half Forwards
Brian Dooher (Tyrone)                      
Declan O'Sullivan (Kerry)                
Seán Cavanagh (Tyrone)                   

Full Forwards
Colm Cooper (Kerry)                        
Kieran Donaghy (Kerry)                  
Ronan Clarke (Armagh)                   

Footballer of the Year: Seán Cavanagh (Tyrone)     
Young Footballer of the Year: Tommy Walsh (Kerry)