By Mark Jones
DUBLIN — As predicted, Kilkenny and Kerry, the All-Ireland hurling and football champions, respectively, dominated the 2000 All-Star awards, which were presented in Dublin last weekend.
Kilkenny filled nine of the hurling places, with D.J. Carey winning his eighth award, while Kerry took six awards in football.
The only bone of contention in the hurling lineup was the selection of Galway’s Joe Rabbitte at center forward. Rabbitte had a disappointing All-Ireland semifinal against Kilkenny and it was hard to see how his summer form justified a place in front of Tipperary’s John Leahy and John Power of Kilkenny.
While Kilkenny were equaling their own record of nine awards set in 1983, Offaly’s solitary accolade, which went to midfielder Johnny Dooley, was a record low for an All-Ireland finalist. Carey also claimed the Hurler of the Year award, with his teammate Noel Hickey named as Young Hurler of the Year.
Leinster counties were the biggest losers in football, with Kildare’s Anthony Rainbow the only player honored as Dublin and Meath drew blanks. Kieran McKeever was a surprising choice at corner-back ahead of Ken Doyle, while the Kerry pair of Maurice Fitzgerald and John Crowley failed to make the cut. However, Seamus Moynihan of Kerry won the Footballer of the Year award, and Galway’s Joe Bergin took the Young Footballer award.
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Brendan Cummins (Tipperary); Noel Hickey (Kilkenny), Diarmiud O’Sullivan (Cork), Willie O’Connor (Kilkenny); John Carroll (Tipperary), Eamonn Kennedy (Kilkenny), Peter Barry (Kilkenny); Johnny Dooley (Offaly), Andy Comerford (Kilkenny); Denis Byrne (Kilkenny), Joe Rabbitte (Galway), Henry Shefflin (Kilkenny); Charlie Carter (Kilkenny), D.J. Carey (Kilkenny), Joe Deane (Cork).
Declan O’Keeffe (Kerry); Kieran McKeever (Derry), Seamus Moynihan (Kerry), Michael McCarthy (Kerry); Declan Meehan (Galway), Kieran McGeeney (Armagh), Anthony Rainbow (Kildare); Anthony Tohill (Derry), Darragh O Se (Kerry); Michael Donnellan (Galway), Liam Hassett (Kerry), Oisin McConville (Armagh); Mike Frank Russell (Kerry), Padraig Joyce (Galway), Derek Savage (Galway).