Down hurlers honoured

Down hurlers honoured

17 February 2021

DOWN hurlers Stephen Keith and Caolan Taggart have been included in the GAA/GPA Champion 15 selection.

The best hurlers from last year’s Christy Ring, Nicky Rackard, and Lory Meagher Cups have been announced.

In all nine counties are represented, with the Mourne stars recognised for their starring roles in Down’s efforts.

Keith played a pivotal part in Down’s run to the final of the Christy Ring Cup run, especially in the semi-final success against Offaly, which went to a penalty shoot-out.

He saved three penalties and then stepped up to score from the spot to book Down’s spot in the final against Kildare, which Down lost by 3-16 to 0-22.

Portaferry skipper Taggart was another key touchstone in the Down team which progressed to that showdown with Kildare.

He played a special part for his club as well, as Portaferry clinched the county senior championship for the first time in six years with victory in a replay against local rivals Ballycran.

Kildare lead the way in the Champion 15 selection with four players. As well as Down, Donegal, Mayo, Fermanagh, Offaly, Louth, Wicklow, and Tyrone are also represented.

The full selection is as follows: Stephen Keith (Down), Sean McVeigh (Donegal), Caolan Taggart (Down), Cathal Freeman (Mayo), Conor McShea (Fermanagh), Rian Boran (Kildare), Danny Cullen (Donegal), Eoghan Cahill (Offaly), Paul Divlilly (Kildare), Damian Cassidy (Tyrone), James Burke (Kildare), Shane Boland (Mayo), Jack Sheridan (Kildare), Andrew Mackin (Louth), Christy Moorehouse (Wicklow).

The selection process was finalised by an independent selection committee of journalists and referees.

GAA president John Horan said: “This is a great honour for the players chosen and for their families and clubs who they represent.

“These awards will be a reminder of the lengths all our players went to for our benefit during the tough year that was 2020.”

Paul Flynn, chief executive of the GPA, said: “First of all, I want to take this opportunity to thank all the players who competed in the Christy Ring, Nicky Rackard and Lory Meagher Cups in 2020.

In very challenging times, you helped give fans of our games all over the country something to look forward to and discuss on a weekly basis and that should not be under-estimated.”

A special programme on the awards will air this evening on RTE 2FM at 6pm.