By Kevin Regan
Ok so Hurling may have evolved to a whole new level over the last decade, but there’s no reason why we can’t compare players man to man and number to number!
In 2006 Kilkenny halted Cork’s attempt at a 3 in a row.
So lets see who gets the nod in each respective position in comparison to this years All Ireland Winning Tipperary Team.
1. James McGarry V Darren Gleeson
James McGarry was one of the most underrated goalkeepers to ever play the game. He was constantly overlooked for all star awards. Gleeson is a steady custodian who has filled Brendan Cummins boots fairly well but there’s only one winner here.
Verdict: James McGarry
2. Michael Kavanagh V Cathal Barrett
The Similarities here are unreal! Barrett has emerged as one of the best corner backs in the business, while Michael Kavanagh was exactly that during the 00’s. In time Barrett could go down as one of the greatest but until that day arrives Michael Kavanagh is the man.
Verdict: Michael Kavanagh
3. Noel Hickey V James Barry
Barry has answered every question asked of him so far. But Noel Hickey was so so good!
Verdict: Noel Hickey
4. Jackie Tyrrell V Michael Cahill
Jackie was in the peak of his powers at this stage but it’s not very often that somebody gets the better of Michael Cahill. Tyrrell shades it
Verdict: Jackie Tyrrell
5. Tommy Walsh V Seamus Kennedy
This is a non contest! Walsh was one of the best of all time. Kennedy is still only a chap but does have a big future ahead.
Verdict: Tommy Walsh
6. John Tennyson V Ronan Maher
Ronan Maher has slotted in seamlessly at Centre Back for Tipperary and looks set for a long career at the heart of the Tipperary defence. Tennyson was highly regarded by Brian Cody but Maher takes this one.
Verdict: Ronan Maher
7. James Ryall V Padraic Maher
Ryall was a big strong sturdy uncompromising defender who gave very little away. However Padraic Maher is a colossal presence at wing back from Tipp and joins his brother in terms of getting the benefit of the doubt here.
Verdict: Padraic Maher
8. James Cha Fitzpatrick V Brendan Maher
This one is by no means a foregone conclusion! Maher gets through a power of work for Tipp and has operated in many different positions. James Cha took to midfield like a duck to water after an underwhelming spell at corner forward.
9. Derek Lyng V Michael Breen
Scoring 4-5 from play from midfield is serious serious going! Breen could end up getting the verdict here if he continues to develop, but at this stage Derek Lyng was an accomplished midfielder in 2006.
Verdict: Derek Lyng
10. Richie Power V Dan McCormack
Dan is an absolute workhorse for Tipp. Power was still very green at this stage but was still good enough to win this particular match up.
Verdict: Richie Power
11. Henry Shefflin V Patrick Bonnar Maher
The King is called the King for a reason! Bonnar would go through a brick wall for you but hes fighting a losing battle here.
Verdict: Henry Shefflin
12. Eoin Larkin V Noel McGrath
This is a tasty one! Larkin is still knocking around all these years later, and was awesome in 2006. Noel McGrath is in the peak of his powers and is a class act.
Verdict: Noel McGrath
13. Eddie Brennan V John O’Dwyer
Now this is a ridiculously tough one! Fast Eddie was an absolute demon at nailing goals at vital times throughout his career and was known both far and wide. ‘Bubbles’ has an unbelievable pair of wrists and probably has that bit more in his locker than Brennan had despite his knack for scoring goals.
Veridict: John O’Dwyer
14. Martin Comerford V Seamus Callanan
Comerford was a great servant to Kilkenny Hurling but Callanan scored 0-9 from play in this years decider so how could you look past him!
Verdict: Seamus Callanan
15. John McGrath V Aidan Fogarty
Taggy hit 1-3 in the 2006 All Ireland Final, McGrath hit 1-3 in the 2006 final! Taggy gets the benefit of the doubt here after that fantastic display.
So there you have it!