Two Laois hurlers in running for GAA All-Stars

Nominations recognition of team effort

Express Reporter

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Two Laois hurlers in running for GAA All-Stars

Enda Rowland in action against Dublin in O'Moore Park Portlaoise.

Two Laois hurlers have made the nomination list for this year's GAA All-Stars.

Abbeyleix and Laois goalkeeper Enda Rowland has received a nomination and Rathdowney-Errill half-back Jack Kelly has picked up a nomination.

All-Ireland winners Tipperary lead the way with 11 nominations. 

Enda Rowland faces off against All-Ireland winning Tipperary goalkeeper Brian Hogan and Eoin Murphy of Kilkenny.

Jack Kelly is one of 18 defenders nominated for the six available slots.

Kelly was the Man of the Match in the All-Ireland Quarter-Final against Tipperary while Rowland played a key part all season not least of which was his display against Dublin in O'Moore Park. More below picture.

Pictured above Jack Kelly in action against Dublin.

Enda Rowland was delighted with the nomination which he said was as much about what the team had achieved as how he has performed between the sticks.

"It's good to get the recognition but it is more about the team getting the recognition for getting to the All-Ireland Quarter-Final," he told the Leinster Express. 

He also believes the nominations are a testament to the competition Laois won to qualify for the 2019 Leinster Championship.

"When you are in the Joe McDonagh Cup you don't see something like that coming at the start of the year but when you see where it can take you it shows the importance of the Joe McDonagh Cup," he said.

The goalkeeper wants the nominations to be part of laying foundations to consistent success.

"Hopefully we can get back to the Quarter-Final next year and make it that norm for Laois hurling. That is the real goal," he said. 

Kelly and Rowland join a select club of Laois hurlers to make it onto list of candidates to be considered for an All-Star. Portlaoise's Pat Critchley remains the only All-Star Award Hurling Award winner from Laois.

Joining that illustrious list of nominees means a lot to Jack Kelly who put in some sterling performances in the Laois half backline.

"It is an honour really. Not many Laois men have got one," he said.

He listed a few high points from the 2019 season and is looking forward to 2020.

"Obviously, winning the Joe McDonagh Cup but beating Dublin was the big one. Hopefully next year we'll drive on again. It's a really young team and we will be mad to get into it next year," he said.

The full list of 2019 All-Star nominees are as follows:

Goalkeepers: 

Eoin Murphy (Kilkenny), Enda Rowland (Laois), Brian Hogan (Tipperary)

Defenders: 

Chris Crummey (Dublin), Eoghan O’Donnell (Dublin), Paddy Deegan (Kilkenny), Pádraig Walsh (Kilkenny), Huw Lawlor (Kilkenny), Conor Fogarty (Kilkenny), Jack Kelly (Laois), Seán Finn (Limerick), Mike Casey (Limerick), Richie English (Limerick), Pádraic Maher (Tipperary), Ronan Maher (Tipperary), Cathal Barrett (Tipperary), Brendan Maher (Tipperary), Barry Heffernan (Tipperary), Matthew O’Hanlon (Wexford), Paudie Foley (Wexford), Liam Ryan (Wexford)

Midfielders: 

Cathal Mannion (Galway), Cian Lynch (Limerick), William O’Donoghue (Limerick), Noel McGrath (Tipperary), Diarmuid O’Keeffe (Wexford), Kevin Foley (Wexford)

Forwards: 

Alan Cadogan (Cork), Patrick Horgan (Cork), Conor Whelan (Galway), TJ Reid (Kilkenny), Adrian Mullen (Kilkenny), John Donnelly (Kilkenny), Colin Fennelly (Kilkenny), Kyle Hayes (Limerick), Peter Casey (Limerick), Aaron Gillane (Limerick), Graeme Mulcahy (Limerick), John O’Dwyer (Tipperary), Jason Forde (Tipperary), Séamus Callanan (Tipperary), John McGrath (Tipperary), Rory O’Connor (Wexford), Lee Chin (Wexford), Conor McDonald (Wexford)

Player of the Year: 

Patrick Horgan (Cork), TJ Reid (Kilkenny), Séamus Callanan (Tipperary)

Young Player of the Year: 

Adrian Mullen (Kilkenny), Kyle Hayes (Limerick), Rory O’Connor (Wexford)