Paul Geaney Is Kerry’s Only All-Star, But Was There A Strong Case For Shane Enright?

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Shane Enright. Photo by Dermot Crean.

Shane Enright.

WITH the Championship now far behind us and the clocks turned back, the All Stars provide the last bit of inter-county intrigue before the long, dark winter nights.

The All-Stars nominees are selected by GAA journalists and then voted on by players, but as is the subjective nature of the whole thing everyone has their own team and there is often a few gripes about the final selection.

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Kerry picked up just the one All-Star as, Paul Geaney, who was taken off in the dying minutes of the All-Ireland semi-final (a decision much-mulled over) picked up an All-Star.

The Dingle man and three other players were up for an award; Killian Young and Paul Murphy had an outside chance, but Shane Enright was in there with a good shout.

As ever, the two finalists dominate the selection and seeing as this year’s champions were crowned after a replay the chances of a Dublin or Mayo player picking up even more All-Stars were increased even further.

Enright who won an All-Star in 2015 was in competition in the full-back line where Dubs, Johnny Cooper and Philly McMahon were almost shoe-ins, so this left a toss up at at right-corner back with the newcomer from Mayo, Brendan Harrison.

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Both Harrison and the Tarbert defender were deployed to do a man-marking job on Dublin’s Bernard Brogan. In Kerry’s semi-final Enright kept Brogan to just 0-2 from play and was rightly lauded for his performance. Harrison, on the other hand, left the former player-of-the-year scoreless. Brogan was also dropped to the bench for the replay.

There is of course a lot of variables involved between the head-to-heads, the drawn All-Ireland Final was not a day for forwards while the free-scoring semi-final made it a tougher task for the men in the backline.

The route to that Dublin showdown made it more difficult for a Kerryman to pick up an All-Star, three matches against two Division 3 sides was not going to impress the judging panel and players from around the country.

Some years are more difficult than others when it comes to selecting an All-Star team and this year – due to the nature of the championship which did not capture people’s imagination until the Kerry v Dublin and the two epic finals – was a tougher one still.

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