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Donegal snap up three gongs as Dubs dominate

By John Martin

Ulster picked up three awards at last night's Opel GAA GPA All Star Awards - all three going the way of Donegal on a night when All-Ireland champions Dublin topped the roll of honour with six awards.

In the first ever joint GAA-GPA scheme Neil McGee, Kevin Cassidy and Karl Lacey accounted for the expected Ulster haul of three awards.

Beaten All-Ireland finalists Kerry took four gongs, with Kildare and Mayo lifting one each.

It was a deserved debut award for McGee who took the number three shirt.

The 25-year-old Gaoth Dobhair clubman was central to Donegal's defensive system and was superb under the high ball all year.

Cassidy was named at number five for his second All Star. Also from Gaoth Dobhair, Cassidy picked up his first award in 2002.

It was Lacey's third award, having also made the All Star team in 2006 and 2009. Kerry's Colm Cooper lifted his seventh All Star, with Marc O Se, Bryan Sheehan and Darren O'Sullivan all taking awards back to the Kingdom.

It was another night of celebration for the Brogan family with brothers Alan and Bernard both making the team. Alan also lifted the Footballer of the Year Award, emulating Bernard's feat of 2010.

Dublin's Stephen Cluxton took the goalkeeper's jersey with Kevin Nolan, Michel Dara McAuley and Paul Flynn completing the Dublin sextet. Kildare's sole award went to Michael Foley at corner back, with Mayo full forward Andy Moran accounting for the only award to go west for the Connacht champions. The Young Footballer of the Year Award was won by Mayo's Killian O'Connor.

The All Star hurling team, named on Thursday, also received their awards. Kilkenny topped the list with eight awards, including a record 10th Award for Henry Shefflin.

Fellow Cat Tommy Walsh also set a record, lifting a ninth All Star in a row.

Dublin had two winners for the first time in the history of the awards, with gongs for goalkeeper Gary Maguire and midfielder Liam Rushe.

The Hurler of the Year went to Kilkenny's Michael Fennelly, while Liam Rushe of Dublin was named Young Hurler of the Year.

There was also Donegal success in the small ball code when hurler Niall Campbell lifted the Lory Meagher Player of the Year Award.

Shane Nolan of Kerry won the Christy Ring Cup Player of the Year, and Martin Finn of London won the Nicky Rackard Cup Player of the Year.

Belfast Telegraph


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