Kelly takes Intermediate Player of the Year Award as Antrim and Armagh feature on Soaring Stars team

Antrim’s Maeve Kelly receives her Intermediate Players' Player Of The Year with Camogie Association President Hilda Breslin and GPA representative Aoife Murray at the Camogie Association Allstar Awards at the Osprey Hotel in Co Kildare Picture: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho
Seamas McAleenan

IRISH News 2021 Camogie Player of the Year was also selected as Camogie Association/GPA Intermediate Player of the Year at their Allstar banquet in Kildare on Friday night.

The Ballycastle forward was Player of the Match in September’s All-Ireland final win over Kilkenny, scoring 1-5 in Croke Park, her first half goal pulling Antrim clear of Kilkenny.

Kelly collected her award on crutches as she is currently out of camogie with a broken bone in her foot. However, she is hoping to return to the Antrim side in time for their first senior championship appearance in almost four decades.

Antrim colleague Róisín McCormick, scorer of nine points in the final in Croke Park, was also short listed for the Intermediate Player of the Year Award along with Kilkenny’s Sarah Crowley.

All three players short listed picked up places on the Soaring Stars team that consists of six players from Antrim, four from Kilkenny, three from Wexford and one each from Galway and Armagh.

Maeve Kelly, Chloe Drain and Armagh’s Ciara Donnelly are the only players from last year’s selection back in the team, Donnelly’s 10 points in the All-Ireland Premier Junior final gaining her a third award.

Junior Player of the year went to Wexford midfielder Chloe Cashe who scored seven points in that final against Armagh.

Senior Player of the Year was won by Galway’s Aoife Donohue who, like Kelly and Cashe, picked up the Player of the Match award in Croke Park in September. Donohue was also included in the Allstar team of the year, her fourth award.

That Allstar team was dominated by All-Ireland champions Galway who claimed eight awards. Beaten semi-finalists Kilkenny took four, while the other three went to Cork who lost the final to Galway on a 1-15 to 1-12 scoreline.

Down forward Niamh Mallon was being widely tipped to make the team but missed out on becoming the first Ulster player selected since Gráinne McGoldrick in 2009.

Mallon, the 2020 Intermediate Player of the Year, made a huge impact in Down’s first crack at the senior championship in over two decades and emerged top of the scoring charts with 1-44 from five games, despite Down losing four of those games.

However ,those scoring returns were not good enough to elbow out the all Galway full-forward line of Ailish O’Reilly and the McGrath sisters, Siobhán and Orlaith, from the All-Ireland club winners Sarsfield’s.

Siobhán McGrath and Katie Nolan (Kilkenny) were the only players winning their first awards, while at the other end of the scale Sarah Dervan and Niamh Kilkenny (both Galway) were receiving the coveted awards for the seventh time.

Galway manager Cathal Murray collected the award for manager of the year.

The 2021 Camogie All-Stars are:

1. Sarah Healy (Galway)

2. Shauna Healy (Galway)

3. Sarah Dervan (Galway)

4. Davina Tobin (Kilkenny)

5. Meighan Farrell (Kilkenny)

6. Laura Treacy (Cork)

7. Laura Hayes (Cork)

8. Niamh Kilkenny (Galway)

9. Hannah Looney (Cork)

10. Aoife Donohue (Galway)

11. Katie Nolan (Kilkenny)

12. Denise Gaule (Kilkenny)

13. Siobhán McGrath (Galway)

14. Orlaith McGrath (Galway)

15. Ailish O'Reilly (Galway)

The 2021 Soaring Stars are:

1. Catrina Graham (Antrim)

2. Chloe Drain (Antrim)

3. Róisín Phelan (Kilkenny)

4. Niamh Leahy (Kilkenny)

5. Sarah Crowley (Kilkenny)

6. Leann Fennelly (Kilkenny)

7. Aideen Brennan (Wexford)

8. Chloe Cashe (Wexford)

9. Nicole O' Neill (Antrim)

10. Maeve Kelly (Antrim)

11. Ciara Banville (Wexford)

12. Ava Lynskey (Galway)

13. Róisín McCormack (Antrim)

14. Ciara Donnelly (Armagh)

15. Caitrin Dobbin (Antrim).

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