Dunloy, Ballymena

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Team of the Year 2019 - Corner Backs

Updated: Dec 11, 2019


Corner back is an acquired taste. Some groan at the prospect of pulling on 2 or 4, but the best bare their teeth in aggressive relish. Here are our candidates for the most important slots on the pitch in our 2019 Team of the Year.


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Shane Murphy - St Mary's Banagher

Banagher's season ended in a deluge at Owenbeg as eventual champions Naomh Éanna dumped them out of the Ulster IHC, but in Derry they cruised to victory in the final over Swatragh.


Murphy went beyond the call of duty in the final and as well as being relentlessly sharp at the back, managed to roar forward and pick off a score in the process.


Niall O'Connor - Naomh Éanna

Naomh Éanna's determination took them all the way to the Ulster IHC title last month and their success was built on a tenacity that began right at the back.


O'Connor has grown into his role as the season progressed and his doggedness and ability to read the game have been enough to keep a number of talented corner forwards, including a rampant Conor McBride in the county final, at bay.


Ruairí Diamond - Naomh Éanna

The yin to O'Connor's yang, Ruairí Diamond was in every way his equal in terms of anticipation and tenacity throughout the season.


Opposition corner forwards were given no quarter in either corner of the Naomh Éanna rearguard and Diamond's contribution is well worth his inclusion here.


Sean Kelly - St Ergnat's Moneyglass


In modern football, the appearance of 2 or 4 on your back is no barrier to finding your name on the score sheet and Kelly is a fine example of a new breed of raiding corner backs.


Consistently on the supporting run, he picked off 0-02 in the opening round against Dunloy and continued his fine form as Moneyglass rode all the way to the Antrim IFC final.


Oran McGill - Watty Graham's Glen

Glen reached their first ever Derry SFC final this year as they showed signs of delivering on their recent underage success and in McGill they had a worthy graduate.


The corner back showed determination and talent throughout the Watties' run to the county final and will no doubt be pivotal as they look to return in 2020.


James O'Connor - O'Connor's Glack

Glack ended a 38-year wait when they lifted this season's Joe Brolly Cup at Celtic Park and the champions posed a threat from all over the pitch.


O'Connor contributed well to their attack, raiding forward from defence on numerous occasions and the defender ended the county final with 0-02 to his name.


Michael Hughes - St Joseph's Ballycran

Hughes stood out in last year's Ulster SHC final against Ruairí Óg and had another strong season. The corner back plays on the edge and treads a fine line at times, but his passion and intensity make him a huge asset to Ballycran.


The captain had the dubious honour of tracking Eoin O'Neill in their Ulster SHC Semi-Final against Dunloy and on day when the Cúchullain's forward line were rampant, Sammy only managed 0-01.


Pearse Dallas - Eoghan Rua

The hurlers of Eoghan Rua are back in an All-Ireland JHC Semi-Final and have a defence every bit as solid as their attack is devastating.


They have conceded only once in five championship games and Dallas has played a large part in that. His performance in the Ulster JHC final where Eoghan Rua were faced with their stiffest test since the Derry final win over Na Magha was superb.


Can I influence the decision?

Of course you can, it's election season after all. Click here to make your voice heard on the Twitter poll for the Corner Back positions.

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