Time to Pick the Best 15 that We think make the Premier Intermediate Team of the Year.
Its that time of Year Where We sit down in PV Pod Towers, Put on the Slippers and Tear the Lid off a fresh Tin of Celebrations and Try and Pick a Team of the Year, Everything starts well until there’s accusations of Bias and Lads being shoehorned into positions to suit agendas, Marginal Calls get dragged out infinitum and Blades are lowered ,but Here We are… the Premier Intermediate Team of the Year
The first Position and a very hotly contested one, 2 lads that will feel majorly aggrieved with our decision are Kevin Bracken who had an excellent year with the Sars and surely will see Senior with them in 2024 and Lorrha’s Mick Kennedy who as a late comer to the position has been excellent for the County Champions all Year
We are going to go with Ronan Tucker the Burgess Custodian, who has been consistently excellent for the past number of Years and 2023 was no different, Excellent Footwork, Accurate on the restarts and useful when you need a Penalty saved as he did against Newport’s Conor O’Mahony or struck as he proved with 2-00 from 2 Penalties in their Round 3 Win over Clonakenny.
The Full Back Line
In the modern game where Set Positions don’t matter much anymore, We are are going to change it up slightly and go through the lines on the field, The Full Back Line We have chosen is firstly a man as adept at Wing Back as he is in the Corner, Thurles Sarsfields Kieran Maloney,
He is Joined in the Full Back Line by his Clubman Aidan Ryan who had a truly excellent Year and franked his inclusion here by scoring a total of 0-03 in the two County Finals v Lorrha, out of a 0-8 from play total,
We fill out the line with Killenaules Jimmy Feehan adept with either big or small ball and can both fill a wing back slot and score as he did also v Lorrha in the Stadium.
The Half Back Line
First up is the evergreen and ever influential Mickey Cahill, the Sars veteran was stationed at Centre Back for nearly all of their Premier Intermediate campaign and the wily driving force in them making a County Final, Only for the legs starting to go in the last few minutes of the replayed final, It could be argued with some validity the Seamus O’Riain Cup could have been headed to the Mid, had he been able to continue exert his considerable influence.
The next Man is a shoo in here and a possible a shoo in for Premier Intermediate Hurler of the Year too, Lorrha’s Captain Michael Dolan was the rock on which many teams title aspirations floundered upon this year,His Scoring Contribution of 0-11 from the half back line cannot be discounted either, 0-3 from play, 0-7 off frees and 0-01 65.
Currently in with the Tipperary u20’s Lorrha’s Darragh Guinan can operate at wing back or wing forward.2-05 from play this Year, including this one man effort v Gortnahoe that Messi himself would hang on the mantel piece.
Unlucky to lose out, Killenaules Joe O’Dwyer
We’ve gone with Clonakennys Diarmuid Ryan, Ryan doesn’t score heavily from Midfield but he puts in the yards hugely and his constant movement allows the likes of Cian O’Dwyer and John Joe Ryan to keep the stats men busy .As a foil to Ryan in Midfield in a Premier Intermediate TOTY, We feel that would be Cashel’s Cathal Quinn, with 1-07 from play this Year, Quinn has the engine and all round game awareness to drive Cashel forward in the coming Years.
Half Forward Line
Now the real fun starts.., Such was the level of score taking in the O’Riain this year, We have at least 12 names to fill the 6 places.
First Up Tom Stakelum Killenaule,4-07 from play and the joint top goal scorer tells you all need to know why we have him in here at wing forward, the fact that Thurles limited him to a point from play in the Semi Finals gives you a fair clue as to why they progressed to a Final and the South men didn’t.
Stakelum is joined by his fellow top goal scorer from play Lorrha’s Patrick Maher, The Bonner scored 4-05 from play but it was his assists, his taken for granted hard word and at times his calmness when Lorrha were wobbling in particular v Clonakenny but also his goal in the County Final Replay that marked him out as our Centre Forward on this TOTY
A curious omission from Liam Cahills current Tipperary plans is another Lorrha man, Colm Fogarty, Just gone 21,Fogarty is Lorrha’s Free Taker,1-16 from play,1-54 in total for the Year.
Full Forward Line
It says something for the depth of quality hurlers that Thurles Sarsfields have, that Jack Lanigan finds himself hurling on their second team, We have predicted elsewhere that should come to an end soon, A crisp striker of the ball, Lanigan topped two of our Premier Intermediate scorers charts this Year, the from play chart with a total of 3-18 and the overall top scorers chart with 3-57.
The final Lorrha man to make it is Cian Hogan, an old style wrecking ball of a full forward, Hogan rotated at times from Full to Centre Forward with Bonner Maher to great effect, his 3-12 from play shows him good for a goal but also well able to take a point too.
This last jersey to fill had us tearing out what little hair We have left on the heads, Who do We go with ?
Ruairi Leahy from St.Marys with 1-13 from play including 1-08 scored in one game v Moyne Templetuohy in Round 3?,
Gearoid O’Connor fresh from the States and who scored a total of 0-17 in Moynes Round 1 Premier Intermediate Clash v Ballina?,
John Sheedy for trying his uptmost to save Portoe ?,
Jason Forde with a similar burden but a different outcome to his season?
Liam McCormack Sars with a 1-12 from play total?
Stephen Murray still doing the business for Burgess with a season ending scorecard of 1-35?
Killenaules Dean O’Connor with 1-11 from play?
We finally arrived at 2 Names….
The Swans Gavin O’Halloran with some Louvre Hanging Sidelines and 1-37 in the Premier Intermediate Championship to his name
or Gortnahoe Glengooles Keane Hayes with a whopping 63 white flags to his name,14 of them from play.