Noel McGrath wins Young Hurler of the Year

Kilkenny’s seven-time All Star Tommy Walsh was named Vodafone Hurler of the Year on Friday evening.

Walsh, who was named on the All Star Team of the Year yet again having been so every year since 2003, was presented with the personal accolade at the All Stars banquet at Dublin’s Citywest Hotel.

The defender, one of six Kilkenny men on the All Star team, has, not for the first time, had a superb year as the Cats completed another successful season to make it four All-Ireland titles in a row, only the second team ever to do so.

As key a man as any in that achievement was half back Walsh, who stood head and shoulders above all forwardswho tried to get past him, and saved his best for last when he gave a towering showing in the Championship decider against Tipperary at Croke Park in September.

Walsh beat off tough competition from Tipp’s Lar Corbett and Waterford’s John Mullane, ace goal and points scorers both, to the award but all three can be proud of superb campaigns in 2009.

Meanwhile, the Young Hurler of the Year Award was presented to Tipperary’s Noel McGrath.

McGrath – at just 18 – was one of six hurlers who received a first All Star this term, his accolades coming as a result of a magnificent personal campaign in the Premier County full forward line, which culminated in an All-Ireland final appearance at a very tender age.

Tipp team-mate Padraig Maher, who had an excellent season at the back, and Galway forward Joe Canning, who again showed himself to be close to the complete player, were the other nominees.

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