We have the first GAA team of the week of the ‘season proper’ which got under way on Saturday for a double header at Croke Park.
Sunday’s comprehensive programme included the reappearance of All Ireland defeated finalists Mayo as well as Walsh and Waterford Crystal Cup games in hurling so plenty to mull over in choosing this week’s ‘Team of the Week’:
1. Stephen Cluxton (Dublin)
The new Dublin captain made two crucial saves against Cork, one in either half, and gets our vote just ahead of Galway’s Manus Breathnach.
2. Ollie Lyons (Kildare)
Solid performance again this week for the Kildare man against Donegal, edging our Mayo’s Ger Cafferky for the no. 2 spot.
3. Conor Gormley (Tyrone)
Another commanding performance from the Tyrone man steadied the ship against Down in tough encounter at Pairc Esler.
4. Keith Higgins (Mayo)
Steady as a rock on the odd occasion the Kerry forwards threatened Mayo.
5. Paul Sharry (Westmeath)
A tower of strength for 14 man Westmeath against Louth in Mullingar
6. Darren Hughes (Monaghan)
Capped an outstanding performance against Meath with a great ‘end to end’ run resulting in one of the ‘goals of the day’.
7. Jack McCaffrey (Dublin)
Another of the ‘young’ Dubs to shine, and not for the first time in recent weeks.
8. Aidan O’Shea (Mayo)
Outstanding in midfield against Kerry indeed Mayo’s ‘Man of the Match’.
9. Ryan Jones (Fermanagh)
In sparkling form for Fermanagh against Wicklow in Aughrim and just gets our vote ahead of Roscommon’s Michael Finneran. Close call.
10. Conor Murray (Antrim)
Three lovely points from play and Antrim’s ‘star’ performer against Cavan at Casement Park.
11. Darran O’Sulivan (Kerry)
Fought a gallant fight with little support from his ‘out of sorts’ colleagues against Mayo .One of Kerry’s worst ever second half performances.
12: Paddy Andrews (Dublin)
Another showing fine early season form for the Dubs. My ‘man of the match’ against Cork on Saturday evening.
13: Michael Murphy (Donegal)
Even in defeat, a brilliant display from a not 100% fit Murphy which augurs well for the Summer…if he can remain injury free. Nine points here.
14: Stephen O’Neill (Tyrone)
Tyrone’s best man in the win against Down and contributed three points.
15: Michael Meehan (Galway) – PLAYER OF THE WEEK
One goal and five points from Meehan, Galway’s outstanding player. Another who will shine in the championships IF he remains injury-free. Only time will tell.