Every year the All-Star hurling team generates great debate with performances in the final having a major bearing on the selections. Let’s examine who the major contenders are at the present time.
1. Brendan Cummins (Tipperary)
Certainly not a vintage year for goal keepers but the veteran Tipperary net minder continues to perform to a very high level and he made some excellent saves this season. His all round play and distribution of possession is always top class.
2. Fergal Moore (Galway)
After some injury disrupted seasons the Galway captain is back to his very best. His ability to sweep across the full-back line and cover for his teammates has been a major contributing factor to the success his team has enjoyed so far this year.
3. JJ Delaney (Kilkenny)
Sorely missed in the Leinster final against Galway. He has been outstanding since his return from injury. His best position is actually number seven, who would know. Class act.
4. Paul Murphy (Kilkenny)
In only his second full season the Danesfort clubman continues to impress. An aggressive and fearless defender. Will be a key player for Kilkenny for the rest of the decade.
5. Kevin Moran (Waterford)
A very consistent player for Waterford over the last five seasons. Has divided his time between midfield and defence. That versatility aswel as his aerial ability, driving solo runs and long range score taking are his main assets.
6. Brian Hogan. (Kilkenny)
Back to his very best against Tipperary last weekend. Always plays to his strengths by doing the basics well and playing a simple game. His ability to cover back and protect his full back line makes Kilkenny very hard to break down.
7. Johnny Coen (Galway)
Has made enormous strides over the last twelve months. His initial selection for the first round of the championship was questioned by many Galway supporters but he is now a key player for the tribesmen.
8. Stephen Molumphy (Waterford)
The standout midfield player this year. His athleticism, drive and leadership set him apart. Undoubtedly a top class hurler.
9. Andy Smith (Galway)
Another Galway player that has greatly improved his all round game this year. Very fit, quick and deceptively strong, he has been one of the main men in the new Galway set up.
10. David Burke (Galway)
The decision by the Galway management to switch Burke from midfield to the half forward line has been an inspired move. His excellent vision and accuracy in front of goal has brought a new dimension to their forward play.
11. Henry Shefflin (Kilkenny)
He has already established himself amongst the greats of the game. Has battled back from some major injuries in recent seasons and he is still vital to the overall balance of the Kilkenny forward line.
12. Aidan Fogarty (Kilkenny)
His return from a serious leg injury has been a key factor in Kilkenny’s return to form since the Leinster final. Not the most stylish forward on the team but he still consistently puts the scores on the board
13. Pat Horgan (Cork)
His scoring contributions from both play and placed balls was one of the main reasons Cork reached the semi-finals. Showed great leadership when he assumed the captaincy from Donal Óg Cusack.
14. Joe Canning (Galway)
Completely rejuvenated this season and is in superb physical shape. The newcomers to the Galway forward line have fed of the excellent leadership that Canning has provided. Frontrunner for hurler of the year.
15. Damien Hayes (Galway)
A lynchpin of so many Galway teams for the last decade the Portumna man continues to perform at a very high level. Has been selected as an inside forward in most games so far but has spent the majority of his time around midfield roving for possession to great effect.