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15 of the best hurlers never to win an Allstar award

Gerry McInerney and John O’Brien were among those unlucky who were unlucky to be overlooked.

THE BEST HURLERS in the country in 2014 were recognized last Friday night with players from Kilkenny, Tipperary and Limerick carving up the Allstar awards.

That got us thinking about the best players over the years that haven’t been recognized with an Allstar award and here’s 15 hurlers – in no particular order – that we’ve selected.

And yes we know, we’ve probably forgotten plenty greats who missed out. Let us know who you’d have picked in the comment section below.

1. Gerry McInerney (Galway)

Renowned for his white boots and distinctive mullet, McInerney famously travelled over Stateside to play hurling for a weekend in 1985 and he ended up staying for five years. He ventured home every August for five years to play in the All-Ireland semi-finals and won All-Irelands in ’87 and ’88.

Source: INPHO

2. Colin Ryan (Clare)

A standout player on Clare’s 2009 All-Ireland winning U21 team, Ryan is one of the deadliest free-takers in the country. He finally delivered on his enormous potential in a year of year’s for Clare in 2013, where he finished with a Celtic Cross and as the championship’s top scorer.

Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

3. Tom Kenny (Cork)

Kenny was a key member of Cork’s golden generation in the early naughties. He featured regularly in midfield or on the half-back line, winning two All-Irelands and three Munster senior medals.

Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

4. James McGarry (Kilkenny)

Kilkenny’s first choice goalkeeper in their All-Ireland wins of 2000, 2002, 2003 and 2006, McGarry has six All-Irelands to his name, as well as seven Leinster titles and three NHL crowns.

Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

5. Donal O’Grady (Limerick)

O’Grady captained the Shannonsiders to a first Munster title in 17 years last summer. An ever present since his debut in 2004, O’Grady played in the 2007 All-Ireland final and has represented Munster in five  inter-provincial series, winning two medals.

Source: Lorraine O'Sullivan/INPHO

6. Stephen Frampton (Waterford)

The Ballygunner man enjoyed 11 years of inter-county hurling, where he came closest to winning silverware in 1998 when Waterford drew against Clare in the Munster. In a highly successive club career, he won eight Waterford SHC titles and a Munster club SHC title in 2001.

Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

7.  James Ryan (Limerick)

The current Limerick hurler has developed into one of the finest midfielders in the game and he was nominated for an Allstar this year. He has a Munster medal to his name and was named man-of-the-match in their final victory over Cork last year, scoring three points.

Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

8. Shane O’Neill (Cork)

A key figure in Cork’s full-back line, O’Neill broke into the Rebels team in 2007 and four years later he was captain of the side. He won an inter-provincial medal with Munster in 2013 and his first Munster SHC title earlier this year.

Source: James Crombie/INPHO

9. Neil McManus (Antrim)

One of the more experienced players in the Antrim squad, McManus has been a leading light for the Saffrons since his debut in 2007. He’s claimed two Ulster titles and is always among one of their man score-getters.

Source: Lorraine O'Sullivan/INPHO

10. PJ Cuddy (Laois)

Voted on the Laois Team of the Millennium, Cuddy enjoyed a 15-year career with Laois where he played at senior level alongside his brothers Sean and Ger. A Railway Cup winner with Leinster in 1988, Cuddy claimed an incredible 12 SHC titles with Camross in Laois, and two Leinster club championships, which came 12 years apart.

Source: © Billy Stickland/INPHO

11. Seamus Prendergast (Waterford)

Before he bowed out this year, Prendergast had been the second longest serving player in this season’s championship, second only to Henry Shefflin. He was part of the swashbuckling Waterford team who won four Munster titles and were it not for the great Kilkenny team of the mid 2000s, they surely would have won the ultimate prize.

Source: Ken Sutton/INPHO

12. John Conlon (Clare)

At just 25 years of age, Conlon has plenty of time to win an Allstar, but at present he is yet to win one. He was excellent on the half-forward line of Clare’s All-Ireland winning campaign last year, he’s previously won All-Ireland and Munster U21 titles in 2009.

Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

13. Brian Carroll (Offaly)

Carroll’s excellent performances for Offaly this year earned him an Allstar nomination, and had he been from a more successful county he surely would have wrapped one up already. He won three Offaly SHC titles with his club Coolderry, as well as a Leinster crown.

Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

14. Eoin Quigley (Wexford)

Quigley was a key member of the Wexford side who usurped Kilkenny as the 2004 Leinster champions, while he claimed a couple of Wexford SHC titles as well as a Leinster club medal.

Source: Cathal Noonan

15. John O’Brien (Tipperary)

Two-time All-Ireland winner John O’Brien also lost two finals and claimed five Munster crowns. Since his debut during the 2001 All-Ireland winning campaign, he’s been a regular in the Tipp starting line-up. With his club Toomevara he’s claimed seven Tipp SHC titles and two Munster club trophies.

Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

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Kevin O'Brien

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