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Magnificent 7 pick up ‘EirGrid 21’ U21 Awards

By tyronepro Tue 26th May

Fresh from All-Ireland glory, seven of the Tyrone U21 panel have been selected as recipients of the inaugural ‘EirGrid 21 U21 Awards’.
The awards honour the 21 standout players from the 2015 EirGrid GAA Football U21 All-Ireland Championship as selected by members of the Gaelic Writers Association and EirGrid Ambassadors Bryan Cullen and Michael Meehan.
In addition to the 21 U21 awards, EirGrid are asking fans of the championship to select their EirGrid GAA Football U21 All-Ireland Championship Player of the Year.
The nominations are Lee Brennan and Cathal McShane from Tyrone; and Colin O’Riordan from Tipperary. Fans can cast their vote by visiting the official GAA Facebook page between Friday 29th May and Sunday 31st May.
EirGrid 21 U21 Awards
All-Ireland runners-up, Tipperary, have six members of their panel among the 21 U21 awards, while semi-finalists Roscommon and Dublin have been honoured with two awards each. Donegal, Kildare, Cork and Galway make up the final four, receiving one award each.
In goals, Seán Fox of Tyrone and Tipperary’s Evan Comerford have been rewarded for outstanding campaigns. Fox conceded only two goals during the entire campaign, while Comerford’s shot-stopping ability and talent were evident throughout.
The eight defenders honoured include Tyrone full-back Padraig Hampsey, centre-back Ruairi Brennan, and team captain Kieran McGeary. All three performed exceptionally in defence for the Red Hand where the philosophy focused on a counter-attacking style of football.
Tipperary wing-backs Ross Mulcahy and Bill Maher have also been recognised following notable performances in this year’s championship. Both players showed a willingness to move forward, securing vital scores at important times during their county’s campaign. Dublin’s Eric Lowndes, Cork’s Brian O’Driscoll, and Ryan McHugh from Donegal are the remaining defenders to be acknowledged for their performances.
The Midfield quartet includes Cathal Compton of Roscommon, selected alongside Tyrone’s Cathal McShane, and is completed by the Tipperary duo of Steven O’Brien and Colin O’Riordan. O’Brien and O’Riordan both had an outstanding championship leading their team to the brink of All-Ireland glory. Indeed, their partnership is seen by many as the best at any level throughout the country.
Tyrone also feature heavily in attack with Lee Brennan and Daniel McNulty being recognised for their contribution. Brennan (1-17) and McNulty (0-16) racked up a combined tally of 1-33 in the county’s path to All-Ireland glory.
Tipperary’s sole selection in attack through Kevin O’Halloran acknowledges an extraordinary campaign for the Portroe clubman. Drafted in for the U21 Munster Final, O’Halloran exceeded expectations, scoring 0-06 in that victory against Cork, with a further 0-04 against Dublin and 0-06 against Tyrone.
The remaining awards go to Diarmuid Murtagh of Roscommon, Dublin’s Conor McHugh, Galway’s Damien Comer and Neil Flynn of Kildare.

EirGrid Player of the Year
Corner-forward Lee Brennan was instrumental as Tyrone claimed their first All-Ireland title at U21 level since 2001. The 18-year-old was the county’s scorer-in-chief during the course of the championship but regularly played deep to help out his defence when called upon.
Teammate Cathal McShane is also shortlisted following a number of eye-catching performances over the course of the championship, culminating in him being awarded the EirGrid Man of the Match in their victory over Tipperary. The work-rate and scoring ability of the Owen Roe O’Neills clubman has already caught the attention of senior manager Mickey Harte.
The final nomination, Colin O’Riordan, is one of the most celebrated young stars in the GAA. His performances against Cork in delivering the Premier County their second ever Munster U21 title was a highlight of the Championship.
Rosemary Steen of EirGrid commented; “We are delighted to honour the top 21 performers of the EirGrid GAA Football U21 All-Ireland Championship. While Gaelic football is a team sport, it is always nice to be able to recognise the individual feats throughout the campaign. The talent displayed proves how competitive and exciting this Championship was. Congratulations to all our winners and thank you for making the EirGrid GAA Football U21 All-Ireland Championship such a fantastic spectacle.
“I would also like to extend my thanks to the families, coaches, trainers and clubs of all of our winners in helping these players perform to the best of their abilities. We expect to hear big things from all of our award winners over the coming years as they go on to join the senior ranks, and on behalf of EirGrid, I wish them every success.”

Evan Comerford Tipperary
Sean Fox Tyrone

Ruairi Brennan Tyrone
Padraig Hampsey Tyrone
Eric Lowndes Dublin
Bill Maher Tipperary
Ross Mulcahy Tipperary
Kieran McGeary Tyrone
Ryan McHugh Donegal
Brian O’Driscoll Cork

Cathal Compton Roscommon
Cathal McShane Tyrone
Steven O’Brien Tipperary
Colin O’Riordan Tipperary

Lee Brennan Tyrone
Damien Comer Galway
Neil Flynn Kildare
Conor McHugh Dublin
Daniel McNulty Tyrone
Diarmuid Murtagh Roscommon
Kevin O’Halloran Tipperary
Player of the year nominations

Lee Brennan Tyrone
Cathal McShane Tyrone
Colin O’Riordan Tipperary

By tyronepro Tue 26th May

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