The annual GAA/GPA Opel All-Star awards took place last Friday night at the Convention Centre in Dublin seeing representatives of Dublin in particular dominating proceedings in line with their All-Ireland victory. The Blues had seven representatives in the 2015 All Stars GAA/GPA Football Team of the Year. This year’s All-Ireland runners-up, Kerry, were the only side the come close to Dublin’s impressive total, having four representatives of their own. Football Player of the Year went to Dublin’s Jack McCaffrey while Mayo’s Diarmuid O’Connor received the Young Players award.
UCC’s Tadhg de Burca earned the coveted Young Hurler of the Year award for his sterling displays for Waterford over the last season. De Burca impressed massively in Division One B this year and was part of the Waterford team which won the division, earning promotion to Division One A in the process. De Burca also earned his place in the 2015 All Stars GAA/GPA Hurling Team of the Year at no.6 in the pivotal Centre Half-Back position. De Burca will be a key asset to UCC as they look ahead to the Fitzgibbon Cup in the new year and look sets to dominate the competition on the back of a very impressive year. CIT will host the 2016 event, giving UCC a great chance to enjoy home city advantage. This is the first time since UCC hosted in 2012 that the competition has returned to the Rebel County and is only the second time that CIT have hosted the event.
Elsewhere Cork’s Rebelettes, along with fellow finalists Galway, dominated the Camogie All-Stars. Eventual winners Cork and Runner-up Galway both recieved a total of seven nominations on the Liberty Insurance 2015 All Star Camogie Team of the Year. UCC had two representatives in the Team of the Year including Pamela Mackey in the defensive line and Orla Cotter in the forward line. Both players played a key role for Cork who have dominated the ladies game since the early 2000‘s. This year’s victory saw Cork win their fifth All-Ireland title in as many years and their tenth in the last eleven years.
UCC’s sides have continued to impress over the last week with both the Men’s Hurling and Football sides earning significant victories in their Senior League Quarter-Finals. The Hurlers put in a dominant display against an unusually ineffective UCD in Dublin to progress to the League Semi-Finals. They earned a 5-18 to 0-16 victory over UCD on Tuesday to place them as the clear favourites to take the League title this year. The Men’s GAA side also enjoyed an important victory in their League Quarter-Final, but by a much finer margin. The Footballers won out by just a point as their accuracy over the bar earned them a 1-11 to 2-07 win over St. Mary’s on Thursday. They will face DCU at home next week for a chance to compete for the Division 1 title and a chance to end the season by continuing their rich recent form. UCC also defeated CIT 2-15 to 1-11 at the start of the month to lead them into the knock-out stages of the competition.