Every year the GAA All-Stars are announced and every year there is criticism of the weight placed on performances in the All Ireland semi-final/final. Too often it seems like one good performance in one of those games is enough to secure an All-Star, a move that is contrary to the point of the award.
A common concern surrounding the All-Stars is that too often it feels like one good semi-final/final performance overrides more consistent stars in the earlier rounds. In order to address this, Balls.ie introduced the Rolling All-Stars. Every round we'll consider the best performances and compare them to the existing holder.
From Munster to Leinster to Joe McDonagh, we've seen some outstanding performances in the Hurling championship this season. The Round 2 XV sees seven new players introduced, with one of last week's entries moving from midfield into the forward line
1. Enda Rowland, Laois
How's this for a decent day between the sticks: Rowland saved a penalty, scored three points and made a number of crucial saves for Laois as they beat Antrim last weekend.
Just home from Portlaoise. @CLGLaois worthy of the win but how good was their 'keeper Enda Rowland? Incredible. 0-3, pen save and a number of huge stops throughout. @AontroimGAA will have better days but they came up against one of the best Number 1's in the country today!
— Brendan McTaggart (@bmct123) May 18, 2019
2. Cathal Barrett
One of the many Tipp players who looks totally revived under the Liam Sheedy regime.
3. Eoghan O'Donnell
The best full-back in the country on recent form. Added another solid performance in Parnell Park to his brilliant game against Kilkenny in Nowlan Park.
4. Eoin Cadogan
Cadogan was tasked with the seemingly-impossible task of neutralising Aaron Gillane last weekend. If Cork lost this specific match-up, it was hard to see them having any chance against the All-Ireland champions. As Cadogan got a grip of the game, so did Cork. There's life in the old dog yet.
— Kieran'Corky'Hickey (@Kieran_Hickey) May 19, 2019
Eoin Cadogan. https://t.co/AcNi9nI7RT
— Daithi Hosford (@Hosmodiar) May 19, 2019
5. Ronan Maher
Maher the younger is in this team 99% for his outstanding and versatile contributions to both Tipp backlines and 1% for the sideline cuts, but good god, those sideline cuts are a thing of beauty.
A sideline cut by Ronan Maher shows just what scorers Tipp have at their disposal.
Live now on @rte2. Highlights on @TheSundayGame at 9:30pm. #sundaygame https://t.co/WLYMrlyHct pic.twitter.com/xXo4OdpYOr
— The Sunday Game (@TheSundayGame) May 19, 2019
6. Sean Moran
The Cuala man has been a formidable presence in the middle of the impressive Dublin half back line, and his late goal ultimately kept Dublin invested in the 2019 Championship (even if he scuffed it!).
Sean Moran with a goal from a free with the last puck of the game!!!!
The game ends in a draw. WHAT. A. GAME. 💪💪💪💪💪💪💪
— Dublin GAA (@DubGAAOfficial) May 19, 2019
7. Padraig Walsh
Imperious in 2019 and possibly Kilkenny's standout player in the Championship, which is saying something given TJ's form (see below).
8. Mick Breen
Breen scored 6 points from play against Waterford and has been a total menace in the midfield this summer for the Premier. Shades of Mick Fennelly in his destructive pomp.
Michael Breen was outstanding for Tipp, hit 0-6..got one ball on his own 65, travelled, shook off two markers and put it over the bar. John McGrath, Bubbles, Barry, Barrett & Jason Forde all playing great stuff..and what a back flick by Bubbles for Jasons goal..#Hurling #GAA
— Stephen Gleeson (@StephenGleeson_) May 19, 2019
Tipp at it again today 👏🏻 Michael breen some engine in the middle, forde and bubbles unreal they will take some stopping this year
— Evan O Rourke (@meggieor) May 19, 2019
9. Tony Kelly
Retains his spot in the Rollers despite the week off on the back of his majestic, five point Man of the Match performance against Waterford.
10. TJ Reid
TJ was three points of shy out of scoring Carlow last weekend. Add that to the 2-12 he scored against Dublin, and it seems missing the League because of Ballyhale obligations has done him no harm. Absolutely lethal.
11. Lee Chin
Chin scored 0-11 versus the Dubs in Parnell Park in a typically no-nonsense performance.
12. Charles Dwyer
The Laois man has been been tearing up the Joe McDonagh Cup, adding 0-5 last week to the 1-3 he scored against Offaly.
13. John O'Dwyer
Bubbles would be Hurler of the Year if the Championship ended today. Currently unmarkable.
14. Killian Doyle
The Westmeath forward only went and scored 1-12 against Offaly, with 1-6 from play. The Midlands derby win over Offaly was huge for Westmeath and Doyle will need to produce more of the same if Westmeath are serious about lifting Joe.
— Oisin Langan (@oisinlangan) May 18, 2019
15. Patrick Horgan, Cork
Hoggie was unusually errant with some of his freetaking but still managed to score 1-9 against Limerick. He is the fulcrum around which all of Cork's offensive strategy revolves around.