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The top 10 corner backs in hurling right now

Some have had their championships ended already, but here are some of the stickiest corner backs currently operating across the country.

1. Sean Finn (Limerick)

The 2018 All Star has been in more All Star form so far this year, with his dogged and determined displays at #2 for Limerick. The Bruff man lives in the pocket of his markers, breathing down their neck like a hunter after its prey. He’s often over-enthusiastic in the tackle, but he’s the type of defender that everyone wants in their side.

2. Cathal Barrett (Tipperary)

Sunday’s unfortunate injury may sideline Barrett for the next couple of weeks, but there’s no doubting his ability at the corner back position. An injury ravaged 2018 put paid to his season last year, and he was even tried further up the field by Michael Ryan, outside of his island at corner back. His 2019 form thus far has been a welcome return to his All Star 2016 season where he shut down every forward in sight.

3. Richie English (Limerick)

Is it fair that Limerick have two of the best corner backs in the country? Probably not, but Richie English holds down the fort opposite Sean Finn in one of the best corner back tandems in the game. He’d dogged, tidy on the ball and, as with Finn, a well deserving 2018 All Star winner.

4. Paul Murphy (Kilkenny)

The four time All-Ireland winner has been one of the most consistent full backs of the decade, with four All Stars filling his mantlepiece at home. The Danesfort stalwart is showing no signs of stopping and with injuries and fresh legs reshaping the Kilkenny back line all the time, Murphy has been a model of consistency.

5. Damien Reck (Wexford)

The 19-year-old has been playing beyond his years since arriving into the Wexford panel in his Leaving Cert year, he’s already established himself as one of hurling’s premier corner backs with dogged defending ability and a comfort and calmness on the ball. He’s been one of the most underrated performers of Davy Fitzgerald’s time in charge in the south east.

6. Adrian Tuohey (Galway)

The Galway stalwart was deployed in the forwards against Kilkenny and Dublin and didn’t look out of place, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that he’s one of the stickiest corner backs in hurling, and showed his class with a point from play in the half-forward line against the Cats.

7. Paddy Deegan (Kilkenny)

The 23-year-old O’Loughlin Gaels defender is now firmly established in the Kilkenny full back line after emerging onto the scene in 2017. A class act on the ball, with all the classic traits of a determined Kilkenny corner back, he should hold down the position for a number of years to come.

8. John Hanbury (Galway)

A stalwart in 2017 when Galway finally ended their All-Ireland drought, Hanbury has been a tremendous performer for the Tribesmen. Injury and lack of fitness as stunted his 2019, which came to what feels like a premature end at the weekend.

9. Sean O’Donoghue (Cork)

An improving operator at corner back for Cork, the Inniscarra defender has been a sticky technician for the Rebels over the past two seasons.

10. Paddy Smyth (Dublin)

Dublin’s young player of the year in 2018, Smyth is part of Dublin’s exciting young era that announced itself onto the scene at the weekend with a seismic win over Galway, which knocked the Tribesmen out of the championship.

Notable Mentions: Shane Fives (Waterford), Sean O’Brien (Tipperary), Noel Connors (Waterford), Colm Spillane (Cork), Patrick O’Connor (Clare), Alan Flynn (Tipperary), Niall O’Leary (Cork)


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