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Dublin: 6 °C Sunday 20 October, 2019

12 great Munster footballers from the lesser lights - the best of Clare, Tipp, Waterford and Limerick

Cork and Kerry rule the roost in Munster but this classy dozen left their mark.

1. Declan Browne (Tipperary)

Declan Browne4/9/2005 Declan Browne celebrates Tommy Murphy Cup glory in 2005. Source: INPHO

Browne was one of a rare breed of Tipperary dual stars who focussed mainly on the big ball.

And the Moyle Rovers star enjoyed a glittering career in the blue and gold, winning two coveted Allstar awards and the Tommy Murphy Cup in 2005.

Browne and Tipp went desperately close to shocking Cork in the drawn Munster final in 2002, before the Rebels comfortably won the replay.

2. John Galvin (Limerick)

John Galvin 31/5/2014 John Galvin was a colossus for Limerick. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Galvin’s Limerick career spanned 15 years, ending with his retirement in January of this year following long battles with injury.

In many people’s eyes, he is the greatest footballer that Limerick has ever produced and it’s a shame that he didn’t claim an elusive Munster medal.

Galvin captained the Shannonsiders to victory in the Munster U21 football championship 15 years ago and played in four senior finals, losing three to Kerry and one narrowly to Cork in 2009, the one that really got away.

3. Seamus Clancy (Clare)

Clancy was a key member on the Clare football team on their most famous day, when the Banner County shocked Kerry to win the 1992 Munster senior championship.

The Corofin man’s efforts during that landmark campaign were recognised with an Allstar award, the only time in history that a Clare man has received one for Gaelic Football.

Source: Bryansford Gael/YouTube

Clancy completely blotted out Kerry’s Karl O’Dwyer in that epic provincial decider, in what was Jack O’Shea’s last ever game for the Kingdom.

It was Clare’s second Munster SFC title, and their first since 1917.

4. Shane Briggs (Waterford)

Shane Briggs Shane Briggs is playing in his 14th championship campaign. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Briggs is playing in his 14th senior championship season for Waterford, a huge testament to his longevity.

The Ballinacourty man was one of the stars of his club’s last county championship success in 2013.

Even though Waterford were hosed by Tipperary in the recent Munster SFC quarter-final, Briggs went down fighting and was his team’s only scorer from play in the second half, despite playing in a defensive role.

The sporting genes obviously run in the family as Shane’s sister Niamh captained the Ireland ladies rugby team to Six Nations glory this year.

5. Derry Foley (Tipperary)

Derry Foley Tipperary and Dara O'Se Kerry 29/6/1997 Derry Foley steams past a young Darragh Ó'Sé in 1997. Source: © Matt Browne/INPHO

Derry Foley was at his peak when Tipperary met Kerry five times between 1995 and 1999 in the Munster championship.

In 1997, Tipp had Kerry on the rack in Tralee but let it slip and Foley cites that defeat as the biggest regret of his entire career.

Foley also won an All-Ireland B football title in 1995, in a Tipp team that also contained former Kildare star Brian Lacey and The42‘s hurling columnist Brendan Cummins.

6. John Quane (Limerick)

John Quane John Quane gave great service to Limerick.

Quane’s intercounty career began in 1991, and he was on the Limerick team that lost the Munster final to Kerry by just three points. It ended in 2004, following defeat to Derry in the All-Ireland qualifiers.

The towering midfielder was a member of the victorious Munster interprovincial team in 1999, and his Railway Cup career spanned almost ten seasons. He also suffered Munster final losses to Kerry in 2003 and 2004.

7. Gary Brennan (Clare)

Gary Brennan celebrates with Davy OÕHalloranat the final whistle Gary Brennan celebrates with Davy O'Halloran following Clare's victory over Limerick. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Experienced midfielder Gary Brennan is Clare’s captain and he leads by example.

When the Banner County needed him most, with relegation to Division 4 of the Allianz League a distinct possibility in April, Brennan produced his best performance of the season against Fermanagh.

The Clondegad powerhouse steamed forward from midfield incessantly and followed up with another impressive outing against Limerick in their Munster championship opener.

8. Gary Hurney (Waterford)

Gary Hurney Gary Hurney played senior football and hurling for Waterford. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Hurney is a former dual senior player with the Déise, and was a regular hurling panellist during Davy Fitzgerald’s time in charge.

He wore the county colours with pride again this year, lining out for the Waterford junior footballers in their Munster quarter-final defeat against Tipperary.

Hurney announced his retirement from senior intercounty football in 2013, having made his debut as a teenager against Cork in 1999.

9. Martin Daly (Clare)

Martin Daly is renowned as Clare’s greatest ever forward and scored this goal to floor Cork in the 1997 Munster SFC semi-final:

Source: Bryansford Gael/YouTube

As a young substitute, Daly also netted against Clare in the 1992 Munster final win.

The Lissycasey man is also a former Ireland International Rules panel member.

10. Muiris Gavin (Limerick)

Limerick captain Muiris Gavin 19/6/2005 Former Limerick captain Muiris Gavin was one of the county's finest forwards. Source: INPHO

Gavin captained Limerick in two big finals in 2003 – the National League Division 2 decider and the Munster showpiece with Kerry.

He was rewarded with an Allstar nomination that year and also named provincial footballer of the year by the Munster Council.

Gavin played minor and U21 football for Limerick before making his senior debut in 1994. He played for 12 years at senior level with Limerick, winning three McGrath Cup medals along the way.

11. Brian Lacey (Tipperary)

Brian Lacey with Paul Galvin 11/6/2006 Brian Lacey played for Tipperary again after lining out for Kildare. Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Lacey won an All-Ireland B title with Tipperary in 1995 before really making his name on the Kildare teams that won Leinster senior titles in 1998 and 2000.

He returned to his native Tipp in 2005, winning a Tommy Murphy Cup, and played under manager John Owens during the 2006 season, when the Premier County lost to Kerry in the Munster semi-final.

Lacey, now the football analysis for Tipp FM, tried to reignite his Kildare career under Kieran McGeeney at the age of 33 but was deemed surplus to requirements.

12. Maurice O’Gorman (Waterford)

Maurice O'Gorman scores their second goal Maurice O'Gorman netted against UCC in the McGrath Cup final. Source: Ken Sutton/INPHO

The O’Gorman twins, Maurice and Thomas, have been synonymous with Waterford football in recent years.

Thomas lifted the McGrath Cup as captain earlier this year as Maurice scored one of the Déise’s three goals in the final against UCC.

It was just a second ever senior intercounty goal for Maurice, who plies his trade in defence.

Both Maurice and Thomas have represented Munster at interprovincial level.

Some consolation for Tipperary’s All-Ireland U21 football captain

Brilliant to see Noel McGrath back with Tipp after cancer surgery

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