The AIB GAA Club Hurling Team of the Year, with Uachtarán Chumann Lúthchleas Gael John Horan and Denis O’Callaghan, Head of AIB Retail Banking, at the AIB GAA Club Player 2018/19 Awards at Croke Park. It included five Ballygunner players: Back row: Stephen O’Keeffe (2nd from left), Ian Kenny (5th from right), Pauric Mahony (4th from right). Front row: Shane O’Sullivan (2nd from left) and Philip Mahony (far right). Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile.
Munster champions Ballygunner picked up five awards on Saturday night as the 2019 AIB GAA Club Players’ Awards were presented at Croke Park.
Philip Mahony, who was also in the team of the year last year, goalkeeping star Stephen O’Keeffe, defender Ian Kenny, and midfielder Shane O’Sullivan join Philip’s brother Pauric were named in the side. All-Ireland champions, Ballyhale Shamrocks, topped the list with six on the team.
There are five clubs represented in total with Ruairí Óg Cushendall duo Eoghan Campbell and Neil McManus honoured on the back of their strong campaign.
All-Ireland finalists St Thomas’s of Galway have wing back Fintan Burke included, while there is an award for long-serving Coolderry forward Brian Carroll – a scorer of 2-16 in their Leinster semi-final clash with Ballyboden St Endas.
Uachtarán Cumann Lúthchleas Gael John Horan said: “This is a great honour for the clubs, schools and families who have players represented on this prestigious selection – players who have given so much of their time to the perfection of their skills in the service of their clubs.
“Every year the hurling club championship can be relied upon to bring us so much about what makes the club campaign so enthralling – legends are born and history is made –and all for the glory of clubs and communities.
“These awards look to pay tribute to the stand out performers and our thanks to AIB for enabling us to make this scheme possible.”
Denis O’Callaghan, Head of Retail Banking, AIB, said: “The awards honour some of the greatest club players across Ireland, who have shown immense passion and commitment to their club throughout #TheToughest competition.”
Three players were shortlisted for the Hurler of the Year accolade. Ballyhale’s Colin Fennelly and Adrian Mullen and Ballygunner’s Pauric Mahony. On the night, Adrian Mullen, was awarded that honour.
AIB GAA Club Players’ Awards – Hurling 2019
1. Stephen O’Keeffe (Ballygunner)
2. Eoghan Campbell (Ruairí Óg)
3. Joey Holden (Ballyhale Shamrocks)
4. Ian Kenny (Ballygunner)
5. Philip Mahony (Ballygunner)
6. Michael Fennelly (Ballyhale Shamrocks)
7. Fintan Burke (St Thomas’)
8. Shane O’Sullivan (Ballygunner)
9. Neil McManus (Ruairí Óg)
10. Adrian Mullen (Ballyhale Shamrocks)
11. TJ Reid (Ballyhale Shamrocks)
12. Pauric Mahony (Ballygunner)
13. Eoin Cody (Ballyhale Shamrocks)
14. Colin Fennelly (Ballyhale Shamrocks)
15. Brian Carroll (Coolderry)
Ballygunner representatives at the AIB Club Player 2018/19 Awards at Croke Park in Dublin on Saturday night. There were five Ballygunner players in the team of the year. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile.