Hurling and camogie

Down star Mallon is Ulster's first camogie Allstar nominee for six years

Down's Niamh Mallon has become Ulster's first Allstar nominee since since Derry pair Karen Kielt and Méabh McGoldrick in 2016
BY SEAMAS McALEENAN

DOWN forward Niamh Mallon has become the first Ulster player nominated for the Camogie Association Allstar awards since Derry pair Karen Kielt and Méabh McGoldrick made the list six years ago.

Last year's Ulster 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, just 20 of those points coming from frees.

It was a phenomenal return given that the Portaferry forward was regularly double-marked with teams playing a sweeper in front of her or when Down were forced to withdraw a player to bolster midfield.

It will still be difficult for Mallon to become the first All-star from the province since Gráinne McGoldrick in 2009 and only Down's second after Máirín McAleenan 17 years ago.

Also nominated for the three positions in the full forward line are Galway's McGrath sisters (Siobhán and Orlaith) and Ailish O' Reilly, Cork pair Katrina Mackey and Amy O' Connor, as well as Cáit Devane from Tipperary. Devane and Mallon are the only two who did not feature in the All-Ireland final.

Not unexpectedly senior Champions Galway lead this year's nomination list with 12 players selected on the shortlist while runners-up Cork feature with 10 nominations. Semi-finalists and last season's champions Kilkenny receive seven nominations while the other semi-finalists Tipperary have five. Waterford's Shona Curran and Down's Niamh Mallon complete the 36-player shortlist.

Galway manager Cathal Murray was announced as the 2021 Camogie Association Manager of the Year after guiding his team back to the All-Ireland title in September. It is believed that he was run close by Antrim pair Paul McKillen and Jim McKernan who completed their second year in the post by winning the All-Ireland Intermediate title.

The 2021 Allstars team will be announced on Friday November 26th at a gala banquet at the Osprey Hotel in Naas, Co. Kildare, subject to government guidelines of course.

The Camogie Association/GPA Players' Player of the Year Awards will also be announced that night. The nominees for the Senior, Intermediate and Junior Players' Player of the Year Awards will be announced on Wednesday, October 27

Speaking about yesterday's announcement Camogie Association President Hilda Breslin said:

“It is a wonderful achievement for our players to be recognised for their outstanding performances throughout the 2021 inter county season. Their skill, dedication and consistency has shone throughout the summer, today they are deservingly being recognised with these nominations.

“I am delighted that once again we will be able to celebrate in person. I congratulate all our nominees on today's achievements and I look forward with great excitement to the award's ceremony on November 26."

Nominees for the 2021Camogie Allstars Awards are:

Goalkeepers: Sarah Healy (Galway), Amy Lee (Cork), Aoife Norris (Kilkenny)

Full-back line: Shauna Healy (Galway), Davina Tobin (Kilkenny), Dervla Higgins (Galway), Colette Dormer (Kilkenny), Sarah Dervan (Galway), Libby Coppinger (Cork), Mary Ryan (Tipperary)

Half-back line: Meighan Farrell (Kilkenny), Laura Hayes (Cork), Caitriona Cormican (Galway), Siobhan Gardiner (Galway), Laura Treacy (Cork), Emma Helebert (Galway), Saoirse McCarthy (Cork)

Midfield: Niamh Kilkenny (Galway), Hannah Looney (Cork), Ashling Thompson (Cork), Ereena Fryday (Tipperary), Shona Curran (Waterford)

Half-forward Line: Aoife Donohue (Galway), Denise Gaule (Kilkenny), Chloe Sigerson (Cork), Orla O' Dwyer (Tipperary) Katie Nolan (Kilkenny), Mary O' Connell (Kilkenny), Róisín Howard (Tipperary)

Full-forward line: Siobhán McGrath (Galway), Ailish O' Reilly (Galway), Katrina Mackey (Cork), Niamh Mallon (Down), Orlaith McGrath (Galway), Cáit Devane (Tipperary), Amy O' Connor (Cork)

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Hurling and camogie