We pick out the creme de la creme following the fifth round of games in the National League.
Jack Carney (vs Roscommon)
Mayo look to be on their way to a third consecutive Division 1 final (no deciders took place in 2020 and 2021) thanks to their away victory over Roscommon on Sunday.
Kevin McStay’s charges held off a fightback from the Rossies, to run out 1-16 to 2-11 winners.
Carney is one of the players flourishing under the new management, and played a starring role at Dr Hyde Park.
He showed real grit and composure to make his goal opportunity and then to tuck it away, but his performance was about much more than just his tally of 1-1.
His link play was crucial, and it caused headaches for the Rossies all afternoon. The Kilmeena man will be looking to continue that form in the coming weeks as he bids to nail down a starting role for the championship.
Mattie Donnelly (vs Kerry)
The Trillick man hasn’t seen a huge amount of game-time in 2023 thus far, and that is a strange one to fathom, considering his performance levels on Sunday afternoon.
Donnelly displayed everything that was positive about Tyrone, as he led the charge against Kerry in Omagh.
He kicked three points from play at crucial stages, and was a key figure as they transitioned the ball from defence to attack at times, while also providing a real threat up front alongside Darragh Canavan.
He was deservedly named man of the match by TG4, and the Red Hands will be looking for more of the same from Donnelly in the coming weeks.
Seán Powter (vs Clare)
The Cork scoring levels have been remarkable in the league. The Rebels have raised 13 green flags throughout the campaign, more than any other county.
Powter has scored four goals while wearing the ‘blood and bandages’ thus far in 2023, and two of those came in Ennis on Sunday.
Having had more than his fair share of injuries in recent years, Powter appears to be thriving under John Cleary. And Sunday’s display is just another indicator of how important he is to the Cork senior footballers.
His contribution of 2-0 was crucial, as the Lee-siders stayed in the promotion chase with an away victory over their Munster rivals.
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