Seven Dublin players named in Ladies Football All-Star selection for the second year in a row

Seven Dublin players named in Ladies Football All-Star selection for the second year in a row

DUBLIN picked up almost half of the TG4 Ladies Football All-Stars for 2019, in the iconic awards ceremony in the Citywest Hotel in the Irish capital at the weekend.

The All-Ireland Senior Champions had seven players on the All-Star selection for the second year-in-a-row.

The three-in-a-row All-Ireland winners delivered in four of the six lines on the field, with Niamh Collins named at centre-half-back; Sinead Goldrick and Olwen Carey on the half-back line; Siobhan McGrath at midfield; while Carla Rowe, Niamh McEvoy and Lyndsay Davey formed an all-Dublin half-forward line.

Beaten All-Ireland finalists Galway received four awards with back-to-back All-Stars for defender Sinéad Burke, and first-time accolades for twins Louise and Nicola Ward; and Galway captain Tracey Leonard.

Cork recognition

Cork claimed two awards with a second award for corner-forward Orla Finn, and a first-time accolade for 23-year old defender Melissa Duggan.

Mayo's Rachel Kearns was also a first-time recipient at full-forward.

Meath's Monica McGuirk was the only Intermediate Player included on the selection, and picked up her first All-Star, and Meath's first since 2011, when Irene Munnelly also was named as the All-Star goalkeeper.

Siobhán McGrath beat her Dublin colleague and Galway's Louise Ward to take the Senior Players Player of the Year.

Dublin players Siobhán McGrath and Olwen Carey celebrate after the TG4 All-Ireland Ladies Football Senior Championship Final match between Dublin and Galway at Croke Park in Dublin. (Photo By Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

The 31-year old was delighted to receive the award, on a night which also saw her claim a fourth All-Star, having first been honoured with the personal accolade back in 2009.

"It's just an absolute honour,” she told The Irish Post.

“To just get an All-Star is an amazing achievement, and to obviously get voted by your peers is the ultimate goal and the ultimate achievement,” she said. “It tops off a great year for me, but also for the girls - just representing our Dublin team and what we are made of.”

Elsewhere, Tipperary's Aishling Maloney was named the Intermediate Players Player of the Year, with her Premier County colleague Orla O'Dwyer; and Meath's Monica McGuirk shortlisted. Eimear Smyth, from beaten finalists Fermanagh picked up the Junior award, with London's Hannah Noonan and Louth's Kate Flood also shortlisted.

Heffernan enters the Hall of Fame

Mayo's seven-time All-Star, and four-time All-Ireland Senior winner Christina Heffernan was also inducted into the Hall of Fame on the night.

“I am delighted for both myself and my family,” Heffernan said.

“It's a great honour to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, for doing something I loved doing all of those years ago playing and enjoy football.

Christina's last All-Star came in 2003 – the first occasion that the All-Stars were held with a Gala banquet – she says it has come on a lot since.

“When I got my first All-Star, we played the All-Ireland winning team in a match, and then the presentations were afterwards, but now it's on a bigger and wider scale, and rightly so.

“It's not easy to win these awards, and the players deserve a big night like this, and a big occasion.”

Meanwhile the Provincial Young Players of the Year were also awarded, with Galway's Ellen Power; Ciara Smyth of Meath; Cork's Eimear O'Donovan; and Saoirse Kiernan of Cavan; picking up honours for Connacht, Leinster, Munster and Ulster respectively.

The All-Stars will be heading to Texas next March for the bi-annual tour, with a game between the 2018 and 2019 All-Stars forming the centre-piece of the trip.