EirGrid GAA U21 Player of the Provinces revealed
After super displays in the EirGrid GAA Football U21 Championship to date and ahead of the All-Ireland semi-finals taking place between Galway and Kerry and Dublin and Donegal on Saturday, EirGrid have revealed the winners of the inaugural EirGrid GAA U21 Player of the Province Award. Galway’s Michael Daly has been selected for Connacht, Dublin’s Aaron Byrne has been highlighted as the winner in Leinster, Kerry’s Andrew Barry has been chosen for Munster and Donegal’s Michael Langan for Ulster.
In Galway, the U21 captain, Michael Daly, landed this award for the role he played in securing Galway’s first U21 Connacht title since 2013. The An Creagan/Mach Locha clubman played an important part in helping ‘The Tribesmen’ dispose of both Leitrim (QF) and Mayo (SF) on their way to the final where they faced Sligo, a team that had yet to claim a provincial title at this level. Michael gave an outstanding performance on Sligo home turf in Markievicz Park, and it was this performance that helped drive the team on to secure a win (3-20 to 2-14) in extra time.
In Leinster, Aaron Byrne has been crowned as the provincial winner. The young Na Fianna man secured this award for his contribution throughout the Leinster campaign. He was a key player in helping the Dubs cement their fourth provincial title in a row after they defeated Offaly 2-14 to 0-8 in a cold and wet O’Moore Park. Byrne kicked a total of 0-4 points in the decider and his performance on the night resulted in him being selected as the EirGrid U21 Man of the Match.
Kerry’s Andrew Barry has been selected as the winner in Munster. Hailing from Na Gaeil club, Andrew has been selected for helping secure Kerry’s first U21 Munster title since 2008. Kerry had comprehensive wins in both semi-final and final encounters in Munster defeating Waterford (semi-final) 1-18 to 0-7 and Cork (final) 2-16 to 0-6 in which Andrew delivered a man of the match display from the centre of the park.
Ulster winner is Donegal’s Michael Langan. Michael played an integral role in helping Donegal seal their Ulster title win on Monday night in Armagh’s, Athletic Grounds. Michael has displayed great leadership and scoring abilities in the championship to date and is currently top scorer in Ulster having kicked a total of 0-19 up to this point.
This is the first year of the EirGrid GAA U21 Player of the Province initiative and it is one that has been put in place to recognise and reward outstanding performances throughout each of the four provinces at U21 level. Each recipient has been carefully selected by the Gaelic Writers Association.
Director of External Affairs at EirGrid, Rosemary Steen, commented: “I would like to extend my sincere congratulations to the two Michaels, Aaron and Andrew for their performances in their respective provinces. Each of the four have produced amazing displays to date and we are delighted to be able to recognise them for this.
“At EirGrid, we manage and develop Ireland’s electricity grid and we feel strongly that our business mirrors this U21 Championship. We need to ensure that there is a bright future ahead for the young people of Ireland and with the incredible talent on display in this competition and with players like these four young men involved, we have no doubt that the future of the GAA will be extremely bright.”
The EirGrid GAA Football All Ireland U21 Championship semi-finals are taking place this weekend with Dublin and Donegal facing each other in Kingspan Breffini Park, Cavan with proceedings getting underway at 2.30pm. Kerry will face Galway in their semi-final encounter at 4.30pm in Cusack Park, Ennis, Clare. Both games will be shown live on TG4. Fans can also keep up to date with the conversation online using #EirGridGAA.