Dub duo on All Star list as Cats and Tipp rule
THEY are sure to dominate the eventual All Star hurling team, so it's no surprise to see Kilkenny and Tipperary ruling the nominations roost also after their epic All-Ireland saga last month.
Following their clean sweep of league, Leinster and All-Ireland titles, Brian Cody's indomitable Cats lead the way with 13 candidates named on the 45-man list of nominations for the 2014 GAA/GPA Hurling All Stars, unveiled this morning.
In keeping with those league and All-Ireland finals, Tipperary are hot on their heels with 11 nominations and then it's a relatively steep drop to beaten semi-finalists Limerick (with seven) and Cork (with six).
It will come as no surprise that Dublin's meek summer exit is reflected in just two nominations.
Goalkeeper Alan Nolan is recognised for his 'Man of the Match' resistance even in the midst of heavy Leinster final defeat to Kilkenny while Liam Rushe, the capital's only two-time hurling All Star, again makes the nominations shortlist in the half-back line.
In truth, neither is likely to feature on the eventual team which is sure to be monopolised by stripey assassins and Premier pretenders - with the possible exception of Limerick corner-back Seamus Hickey after his hercuelean semi-final display against Kilkenny and, at a push, one other.
Cork may privately rage at gaining less nominations than their beaten Munster final rivals Limerick - but their semi-final implosion against Tipp could not be ignored either.
Richie Hogan, facing competition from Tipp rival Seamus Callanan and Kilkenny colleague TJ Reid, looks the favourite for Hurler of the Year while the Young Hurler nominees are Tipp corner-back Cathal Barrett, Wexford target man Conor McDonald and Limerick's Shane Dowling.