CLARE hurling can party like it’s 1995 all over again where the All Stars are concerned – all because Davy Fitzgerald’s All-Ireland winning side has memorably scooped eight All Stars awards, like Ger Loughnane’s charges did 18 years ago.
The county won the lion’s share of the awards as was expected on the back of their stunning success in the All-Ireland final, but there is no place in the All Star team for Clare’s top scorer in championship Colin Ryan of Newmarket-on-Fergus or All-Ireland final hero Shane O’Donnell (Éire Óg)
However, in winning eight All Stars they have won awards in every line of the field, apart from the goalkeeping slot that went to Anthony Nash.
David McInerney (Tulla) has been picked in the full-back line at left-corner back, while Brendan Bugler (Whitegate) and All-Ireland winning captain Patrick Donnellan (O’Callaghan’s Mills) are in the half-back line at right and left-half-back respectively.
Midfield is an all-Clare zone, with Colm Galvin (Clonlara) and Conor Ryan (Cratloe) winning selection there, while the Clare flag on the half-forward line is flown by Tony Kelly (Ballyea). Galvin’s award is a first for Clonara in 35 years since Colm Honan was selected on the 1978 team.
Finally Clare have two out of three in the full-forward line thanks to Padraic Collins at left-corner-forward and Conor McGrath at right-corner-forward, which brings to three the number of Cratloe players to be honoured by the All Star selectors.
This stunning success for Cratloe in winning three All Stars ensured that they match the feat of St Joseph’s Doora-Barefield in 1995 who won three All Stars that year, when Clare also netted eight awards.
In 1995 Clare’s famous band of eight were: Davy Fitzgerald (Sixmilebridge), Brian Lohan (Wolfe Tones), Liam Doyle (Bodyke), Seanie McMahon (St Joseph’s Doora-Barefield), Anthony Daly (Clarecastle), Ollie Baker (St Joseph’s Doora-Barefield), Jamesie O’Connor (St Joseph’s Doora-Barefield) and Ger O’Loughlin (Clarecastle).
Of this year’s All Stars selection, only three in Brendan Bugler, Anthony Nash and Liam Rushe are previous award winners, with Bugler and Nash being the only survivors from last year’s team.
Beaten All-Ireland finalists Cork and the team they defeated in the semi-final Dublin, each earned three spots on the 2013 team, while Munster champions Limerick claimed one award, meaning only players from the four semi-finalists were included on the 15.
The All Stars ceremony will be broadcast from Croke Park on RTÉ this Friday night, when the football selection will be announced live as will the Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year winners in both codes.
Clare are in the running for the Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year Awards. Tony Kelly, Padraic Collins and Anthony Nash have been nominated for the Player of the Year award, while Kelly and Collins along with David McInerney are in the running for the Young Player of the Year honour.
1.Anthony Nash (Cork)
2. Richie McCarthy (Limerick)
3. Peter Kelly (Dublin)
4. David McInerney (Clare)
5. Brendan Bugler (Clare)
6. Liam Rushe (Dublin)
7. Patrick Donnellan (Clare)
8. Colm Galvin (Clare)
9. Conor Ryan (Clare)
10. Séamus Harnedy (Cork)
11. Tony Kelly (Clare)
12. Danny Sutcliffe (Dublin)
13. Pádraic Collins (Clare)
14. Patrick Horgan (Cork)
15. Conor McGrath (Clare)