After an incredible 2018 Electric Ireland Minor Championship, Galway's Donal O'Shea has been named as the Electric Ireland Minor Hurler of the Year.
It capped an incredible year for the Salthill/Knocknacarra player, who notched 1-37 in four games on the way to the county claiming their third All-Ireland Minor title in four years. Donal is the son of former Tipperary hurler and manager Eamon O'Shea, and he played a starring role for the Tribesmen in their successful All-Ireland defence.
He was presented with his award at the Electric Ireland Minor Star Awards at Croke Park, where all 30 members of the football and hurling teams of the year were present.
Galway had a late start to their championship campaign, with their opening game against Limerick not coming until July 8th. They showed few signs of rust however, with O'Shea contributing 1-5 as they overcame the Munster side on a scoreline of 1-20 to 0-12. Remarkably, that would be his lowest scoring game of the championship.
1-5 ag Donal O’Shea @Galway_GAA mac le iar-bhainisteoir Thiobraid Árann Eamon.
Highlights of the @ElectricIreland minor quarter-final between #Galawy & @LimerickCLG at 8pm on @SportTG4 pic.twitter.com/LWSLmILqtk
— GAA 2020 (@GAA_2020) July 9, 2018
They followed this up with a 1-21 to 2-11 win over Kilkenny to book their semi-final place, with O'Shea notching 0-10. His class on placed balls was on show in this game, as the majority of his scores came from dead-ball situations on a day when the conditions made it difficult for free takers.
A fairly comfortable semi-final win over Dublin saw him claim the man of the match award, accumulating a personal tally of 0-12, all of which came from dead-balls.
A rematch with Kilkenny awaited Galway in the decider, and they would enter as heavy favourites. However things would not all go their way, as they were trailing with 25 minutes to go. O'Shea was instrumental in giving his side a foothold in the game, with his 0-10 tally keeping the scoreboard ticking over. Galway would ultimately run out winners by a margin of seven points.
This award tops off what has been an incredible year for the player, and he will surely have aspirations to progress through the inter-county ranks in the immediate future. If he can continue the form he displayed in 2018, the sky is the limit.