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Kerry star James O'Donoghue wins player of year crown


Leading light: James O'Donoghue won the All-Ireland with Kerry

Leading light: James O'Donoghue won the All-Ireland with Kerry

©INPHO/Cathal Noonan

Leading light: James O'Donoghue won the All-Ireland with Kerry

Kerry's James O'Donoghue was unveiled as the Gaelic footballer of the year at the 2014 Opel GAA/GPA All-Star Awards, hosted at Dublin's National Convention Centre last night.

The Killarney Legion clubman won the award as voted by inter-county footballers, although the shortlist of three is chosen by the All-Star selectors.

He beat Donegal's Neil McGee, who gained recognition for a brilliant season and picked up his third All-Star. Rather interestingly, the only time O'Donoghue was held scoreless during the Championship was in the final, when he was up against McGee.

Having said that, O'Donoghue's 10 points against Cork in the Munster final was hailed as a 'Frank McGuigan 1984' of our times.

The other contender was Dublin's Diarmuid Connolly, who produced a magnificent display in the All-Ireland club final as his team St Vincent's took the Andy Merrigan Cup. After that, he produced a sparkling season.

Despite not being named on this year's All-Stars, Ryan McHugh of Donegal won the Young Player of the Year award.

His man of the match displays in the Ulster final and the All-Ireland semi-final - in which his 2-2 sank the previously-thought unbeatable Dublin side - put him in the frame for a possible double of Player and Young Player of the Year.

However, a poor showing in the All-Ireland final, leading being replaced with him marker Paul Murphy winning man of the match, left him out in the cold.

Richie Hogan of Kilkenny was named Hurler of the Year, and had to dash early as his club Danesfort are in Championship action today (Saturday) against Henry Shefflin's Ballyhale Shamrocks. The Young hurler of the Year is Cathal Barrett of Tipperary.

Elsewhere, Damian Casey's prolific scoring form for Nicky Rackard champions Tyrone led to him being crowned Nicky Rackard Player of the Year. Martin Coyle of Longford won the Lory Meagher Player of the Year, and Kildare's Gerry Keegan was awarded the Christy Ring Player of the Year.

Belfast Telegraph