Brendan Maher and Ronan Steede have been named AIB GAA Club Hurler and Footballer of the Year respectively for 2020.
Maher won the individual hurling prize for his part in Borris-Ileigh's run to the final of the All-Ireland Senior Club Hurling Championship, where the Tipperary inter-county star's side just fell short against Kilkenny's Ballyhale Shamrocks.
The 2019 All-Ireland winner with Tipp scored 0-06 in the club final, as well as contributing 0-07 in the Munster decider against Ballygunner.
In between those fixtures, Maher's tally of 0-10 proved crucial as Borris-ileigh won the All-Ireland club semi-final against St Thomas'.
One moment that had many people talking en route to his AIB GAA club hurler of the year award was the famous point scored with a broken hurley in that match against Thomas'.
"I had a twenty-one yard free and I remember the second I hit the free the hurley just split down the middle," Maher said of that moment.
"It's just one of those things that happens, it is quite rare but it does happen. I felt it split as I struck the ball and thankfully the ball went over the bar. I remember waving and running towards the dugout, calling for a new hurl, but I knew there wasn’t going to be enough time as the ball was pucked out short.
"So I thought I would try and get in the way and try and cause some form of obstruction between the goalkeeper and the defender. I managed to get a touch on it and Jack Hogan didn’t realise my hurley was broken.
"He said he wouldn’t have passed it to me if he had realised it has split! I thought to myself if I can get the first touch with the hurley surely I can hit the ball with it. I won’t say 'hit and hope’, although it was a risk I suppose to take it on, but thankfully it went over."
Meanwhile, Steede was instrumental as Corofin won a third All-Ireland Club Football title in succession.
The 28-year-old scored 0-03 in the final against Kilcoo and has since made a mark at inter-county level for a Galway side impressing in the Allianz Football League, scoring 1-01 for Padraic Joyce's side in their recent victory over Meath.
The @AIB_GAA @officialgaa Club Footballer of the year is.......— AIB_GAA (@AIB_GAA) March 6, 2020
RONAN STEEDE!! 👏
The man has been a pillar of consistency for his @CorofinGAA side and his efforts help his side achieve the coveted 3 in-a-row!🔥
Congratulations Ronan 👑 #TheToughest pic.twitter.com/fVlQozrJYR
The AIB GAA club footballer of the year expressed delight at receiving belated inter-county recognition on the back of club form.
"Yes, I just got a call up there. Padraic likes attacking players as midfielders, he has that style of football he wants to play," said Steede.
"But yeah, I'm just getting a run of games now and I’m trying to keep in favour and keep the consistency going with Galway."
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