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Hennessy chosen as U-21 Hurler of the Year.

posted 19 Oct 2010, 08:20 by Unknown user   [ updated 19 Oct 2010, 08:21 by Denis Tuohy Agricultural Consultant ]

The personal accolades continue to flow for the Tipperary hurlers, with Séamus Hennessy selected as the Bord Gáis Energy Breaking Through Player of the Year, following his displays in the 2010 Under-21 Hurling Championship.

The influential midfielder, picked from a shortlist that included fellow county men Brian O'Meara and Brendan Maher, won a €1,000 voucher prize.

Also in the running were Galway's David Burke, Dublin's Liam Rushe and last year's inaugural winner, Darach Honan from Clare.

2010 was certainly a year to savour for Hennessy. The Kilruane MacDonaghs clubman won senior and Under-21 All-Ireland titles in the space of a week in September.

The 21-year-old was introduced as a substitute and scored a point for the Tipperary seniors to help deny Kilkenny a historic five in-a-row, while six days later he was instrumental in the Under-21s' impressive display against Galway at Semple Stadium.

But it was not just one performance that made him stand out. In the Munster U-21 semi-final against Cork for example, Tipperary were on the way out until a late penalty converted by the ever cool Hennessy gave them a chance of redemption in extra-time. A chance that both he and Tipperary took. Hennessy also performed brilliantly in the thrilling Munster final victory over 2009 All-Ireland winners Clare.

Hennessy's ability to hit bit scores at big times was a stand out feature of his year with impressive tallies from dead balls in all the matches he played. But it was the way he dominated midfield and provided the platform for those inside to thrive that set him apart.

On receiving the award, he said: "I am delighted to accept this award, especially considering the talent I was up against and I would like to congratulate the other lads for their own achievements this year.

"To have won an All-Ireland on your home turf is very special and those scenes at Semple Stadium will live with me forever. But that feeling when we returned to the dressing room is what it is all about – and I would like to acknowledge all those that I shared that moment with.

"The effort of the management and the other players in getting us to that point was just immense. This award means a lot to me, but I couldn't have won it without them."

Ger Cunningham, Bord Gáis Energy sport sponsorship manager and a member of the award's selection panel, said: "Tipperary had a star-studded U-21 team this year and it was very tough to single out one player. However, Séamus was immense for Tipperary in this year's U-21 Championship and he is certainly a player that will continue to grab the headlines.

"As a hurler, he has it all but he also has a presence that exudes confidence to those around him and inspires all round. I congratulate him on a tremendous year and wish him a long and successful hurling career.

"This is only the second year of the Bord Gáis Energy Breaking Through Player of the Year award and while hurling is a team sport, there is always room for individual honours and we feel that this award is a reflection on one player's year and hopefully an indicator of great things to come from them."

The selection panel was completed by RTÉ's Marty Morrissey, Micheál Ó Domhnaill of TG4 and Bord Gáis Energy ambassador, Joe Canning.