Forwards on fire

THE top players from play across all competitions thanks to @TheNumbersGael

David Clifford – Kerry (6-35: 50 in total)

DAVID Clifford – you’ll have heard of him – scored the most from play of any intercounty football in Ireland this year with a brilliant overall tally of 6-32. There’s no argument against it really – he’s a generational talent and will crown his season off with an All-Star in the coming weeks.

Gearoid McKiernan – Cavan (3-34: 43 in total)

MCKIERNAN had a stunning season with Cavan, even though their season ended in disappointment with a Tailteann Cup final defeat to Westmeath. He’s a veteran at this stage, but he’s still as good as ever, and recently scored 3-14 for his club Cavan Gaels in an amazing Division One final against Crosserlough.

Keith Beirne – Leitrim (3-30: 39 in total)

BEIRNE isn’t someone who’s well-known on the national stage, but his importance to Leitrim is unquestionable and he scored a hugely impressive 3-30 from play this year. He was particularly profilic in a league encounter back in March against Carlow, where he basically ran the show and finished his day’s work with 1-9 to his name.

Niall Murphy – Sligo (3-30: 39 in total)

SLIGO had a pretty solid season and key to their efforts was Niall Murphy. A talented inside forward, he scored 2-5 in a match against London, and he also carried the fight in the second-half in a narrow Tailteann Cup semi-final loss to Cavan.

Paddy Lynch – Cavan (4-25: 37 in total)

STATIONED at full-forward, the formidable Paddy Lynch was a revelation at times for Cavan this year. He was practically unmarkable in the first-half of their championship defeat to Donegal, and he also delivered an excellent display in their dramatic Division Four final win over Tipperary.

Ryan O’Rourke – Leitrim (6-18: 36 in total)

FAIR play to Leitrim, for this is the second man from the Connacht minnows to make this list. He scored an awesome six goals this year, and he was the hero of the hour in their provincial championship quarter-final win over a decent London side, hitting 2-2, including an injury-time goal, for the victors.

Cormac Costello – Dublin (5-20 – 35 in total)

A PLAYER who needs no introduction. Costello has won a ridiculous amount for Dublin down the years, but he sometimes struggled to make it into the first team during the Jim Gavin era. His talent has never been in question though, and he had a hugely impactful season with the Dubs. His second-half goal against Kerry was one of the goals of the season, burying the ball in the corner of the net. It was one of only two goals conceded by the tenacious Kerry defence all year.

Jimmy Hyland – Kildare (4-22: 34 in total)

HYLAND is a fine player who battled back from a cruciate injury to help Kildare win the All-Ireland U-20 title in 2018. His best years could be yet to come, but he’s already making a huge mark with the senior team and scored a grand total of four goals and 22 points from play this season.

Alan Reilly – Sligo (1-31: 34 in total)

THE second Yeatsman on this list, Reilly more than played his part as Sligo reached the Tailteann Cup semi-finals. He scored 1-6 in their extra-time win over London, but he’ll be disappointed that he didn’t make more of an impact against Cavan.

John Heslin –Westmeath (3-24: 33 in total)

HESLIN is a firm fan favourite with Westmeath and rightly so. The 29 year old is in the autumn of his intercounty career but not only is he the county’s spiritual leader, but a fantastic score-getter and he was their main man in their Tailteann Cup semi-final win over Offaly.

Patrick McBrearty – Donegal (4-21: 33 in total)

MCBREATY has tortured opposition defences against Ireland a decade and had another good season with Donegal. Was fairly well curtailed by Derry’s blanket defence in the Ulster final, but is playing some great stuff with his club Kilcar in the Donegal championship.

Ciaran Kilkenny – Dublin (1-30: 33 in total)

LIVING legend Ciaran Kilkenny is a model of consistency and could be in line for yet another All-Ireland. Has become a more direct player in recent years and carried the fight in the semi-final with some clutch late points against Kerry.

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