All-Ireland SHC 2017: Top 30 moments part one – 30 to 21

Malachy Clerkin looks back at the best moments of a pulsating summer of hurling

Gleeson flicks it past Matthew O’Hanlon of Wexford during their All-Ireland quarter-final. Photo: James Crombie/Inpho

Gleeson flicks it past Matthew O’Hanlon of Wexford during their All-Ireland quarter-final. Photo: James Crombie/Inpho

 

30 Austin Gleeson point v Wexford

All-Ireland SHC quarter-final, Páirc Uí Chaoimh, July 23rd

Wexford’s Willie Deveraux scuffed a sideline cut past Gleeson, who could only take it up on the turn, facing away from goal. No matter. All in one movement, Gleeson collected, swivelled and hoisted a point over his left shoulder. Sublime.

29 Michael Breen goal v Dublin

All-Ireland SHC qualifier, Semple Stadium, July 8th

Tipperary banged in six goals against Dublin but this was the best of them. Collecting on the 65, Breen zipped past the covering defender before letting fly from 20 metres and pinging a finish into the top corner off his stick.

28 Davy Fitz in his box v Kilkenny

Leinster SHC, Wexford Park, June 10th

Only Davy Fitz could draw the eyes from the drama on the pitch. His bolthole for the night was about the size of an IKEA wardrobe. When the final whistle went and Kilkenny were beaten, Davy burst out of it with eyes blazing. The crowd ate it up.

A view of the specially built box to accommodate Davy Fitzgerald. Photo: James Crombie/Inpho
A view of the specially built box to accommodate Davy Fitzgerald. Photo: James Crombie/Inpho

27 James Dempsey save v Waterford

All-Ireland SHC qualifier, Tullamore, July 1st

The Offaly goalkeeper was brutally over-worked in this qualifier against Waterford and had to pull off a string of saves. This was the best of them, diving full-length to deny Austin Gleeson.

26 Shane Bennett goal v Offaly

All-Ireland SHC qualifier, Tullamore, July 1st

A monster puck-out from Stephen O’Keefe rained down on the Offaly 13-metre line where Bennett killed the ball on his stick with a gorgeous piece of control. Once he had ball in hand, showed great strength to hold off his marker and bag the finish.

25 Conor McGrath goal v Cork

Munster SHC final, Semple Stadium, July 9th

Clare were at arm’s length most of the way through the Munster final but this was one haymaker that landed. A bullet finish past Anthony Nash low into the bottom corner from 20 metres out. Pure class.

24 Colm Callanan penalty save v Wexford

Leinster SHC final, Croke Park, July 2nd

Wexford were just coming back into things and this would have levelled the Leinster final with half an hour to go. But Callanan dived low to his left to divert Conor McDonald’s penalty around the post and Galway eased home from there.

Callanan dives to save a penalty against Wexford. Photo: Ray McManus/Sportsfile via Getty Images
Callanan dives to save a penalty against Wexford. Photo: Ray McManus/Sportsfile via Getty Images

23 Michael Cahalane goal v Tipperary

Munster SHC, Semple Stadium, May 22nd

Told he might never play hurling again because of a medical condition just three years ago, this capped off a triumphant return. Sealed Cork’s win sweeping to the net with his first touch off the bench after a mix-up in the Tipp defence.

22 Conor Cooney point v Offaly

Leinster SHC, Portlaoise, June 18th

Galway plundered as they pleased against Offaly but this was a brilliant score nonetheless. David Burke played an 80-yard diagonal ball in front of Cooney who split the posts on the turn from a tight angle out on the right.

21 Austin Gleeson point v Kilkenny

All-Ireland SHC qualifier, Semple Stadium, July 9th

Another for the highlights reel. Played a quick one-two off a sideline cut around midfield, taking possession on the Kilkenny 65, just a few feet in from the sideline, facing the stand. Launched an impossibly high shot over his shoulder that dropped over the black spot.

Gleeson celebrates his impossible point against Kilkenny. Photo: Tommy Dickson/Inpho
Gleeson celebrates his impossible point against Kilkenny. Photo: Tommy Dickson/Inpho
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