Limerick’s 12 All Star nominations their lowest return of recent winning campaigns – The Irish Times
All-Ireland champions Limerick have received 12 PwC GAA All Star hurling nominations – the lowest return from any of their four recent All-Ireland winning seasons.
A total of 10 counties are represented on the list of 45 – including Westmeath receiving their first nomination since 1986 with the selection of Killian Doyle among the forwards.
Beaten All-Ireland finalists Kilkenny have eight players nominated while Galway (eight), Clare (eight), Cork (three), Wexford (two), Waterford, Dublin, Tipperary and Westmeath (one each) also have nominees.
The Hurler of the Year shortlist is comprised of Limerick defenders Diarmaid Byrnes and Barry Nash and Kilkenny forward TJ Reid, while the Young Hurler of the Year contenders are Mikey Butler and Eoin Cody of Kilkenny and Cork’s Ciarán Joyce.
Wing back Dan Morrissey, midfielder Darragh O’Donovan and corner forward Graeme Mulcahy are the three Treaty County players who started in July’s All-Ireland final but fail to pick up an All Star nomination.
A dozen players is a sizeable haul for any county, but it is Limerick’s lowest tally from any of the four seasons they claimed Liam MacCarthy over the last five years. In 2018 and 2021 they had 15 players nominated while in 2020 there were 14 Limerick men included. Limerick actually secured a record 12 All Stars on the team last year.
However, the selection of Westmeath forward Doyle is a momentous one as it is only the fourth time in the scheme’s history a hurler from the Lake County has been nominated and the first time since David Kilcoyne in 1986.
Kilcoyne actually won an All Star in 1986 and he remains the county’s sole hurling award winner. Their only other nominees were Pat Jackson and Ollie Gallagher, both in 1972.
Doyle was the fifth highest scorer in this year’s championship, scoring 0-58 for a team that were largely on the back foot in matches. His total was just one point adrift of Dublin’s Donal Burke, who is also nominated. Both possess laser-like accuracy from placed balls, with 0-46 of Doyle’s tally coming from frees and 0-2 from 65s.
The All Star goalkeeping position looks, once more, to be a straight battle between Limerick’s Nickie Quaid and Kilkenny’s Eoin Murphy. Galway’s Éanna Murphy is also nominated, but the award is expected to be won by either Murphy or Quaid. Murphy edged out his Limerick counterpart in 2021.
Morrissey is unfortunate to not be included among the 18 defenders. Despite not having his best season he was still a keystone in the green wall that is the Limerick half-back line. Kilkenny duo Mikey Carey and Tommy Walsh can also feel aggrieved to miss out, but their defensive colleagues Mikey Butler, Huw Lawlor, Paddy Deegan and Richie Reid are included.
Four Clare defenders are also nominated – Paul Flanagan, John Conlon, Diarmuid Ryan and David McInerney, while Cork’s Ciarán Joyce is recognised for his outstanding season with a nomination. Damien Reck, who was superb for Wexford this season, is also nominated among the 18 defenders.
In midfield, Tom Monaghan’s impressive form under Henry Shefflin with Galway sees him pick up a first nomination while Clare have two inclusions in the versatile David Fitzgerald and Ryan Taylor. Cork’s Darragh Fitzgibbon, Kilkenny’s Adrian Mullen and Limerick’s William O’Donoghue complete the midfield sextet.
Up front, the big losers are Waterford’s Austin Gleeson, Clare’s Peter Duggan and Kilkenny’s Martin Keoghan.
Only two Kilkenny forwards have been nominated, Reid and Eoin Cody, though Mullen – who sometimes operated at half forward – is included at midfield.
Five of Limerick’s forwards are included – Gearóid Hegarty, Kyle Hayes, Tom Morrissey, Aaron Gillane and Séamus Flanagan, with Mulcahy missing out.
Dessie Hutchinson is Waterford’s only nominee this year, while Noel McGrath is Tipperary’s sole inclusion. Lee Chin’s inclusion takes Wexford’s tally to two while Robbie O’Flynn’s selection among the forward sees Cork get nominees in all three outfield categories – defence, midfield and attack.
Ciarán Joyce is also among the Young Hurler of the Year nominees. However, the talking point from the Hurler of the Year shortlist is the omission of Hegarty. Byrnes and Reid were expected to make the list, but the magnificent defensive form of Barry Nash sees him get the nod ahead of Hegarty for the third spot.
The All Stars banquet will take place at Dublin’s Convention Centre on Friday, October 28th – when both the hurling and football teams will receive their awards.
PwC All-Stars Hurling Nominations 2022
Nickie Quaid (Limerick), Eoin Murphy (Kilkenny), Éanna Murphy (Galway).
Seán Finn (Limerick), Barry Nash (Limerick), Mike Casey (Limerick), Diarmaid Byrnes (Limerick), Declan Hannon (Limerick), Mikey Butler (Kilkenny), Huw Lawlor (Kilkenny), Paddy Deegan (Kilkenny), Richie Reid (Kilkenny), Paul Flanagan (Clare), John Conlon (Clare), Diarmuid Ryan (Clare), David McInerney (Clare), Ciarán Joyce (Cork), Dáithí Burke (Galway), Padraic Mannion (Galway), Fintan Burke (Galway), Damien Reck (Wexford).
William O’Donoghue (Limerick), Adrian Mullen (Kilkenny), David Fitzgerald (Clare), Darragh Fitzgibbon (Cork), Tom Monaghan (Galway), Ryan Taylor (Clare).
Gearóid Hegarty (Limerick), Kyle Hayes (Limerick), Tom Morrissey (Limerick), Aaron Gillane (Limerick), Seamus Flanagan (Limerick), TJ Reid (Kilkenny), Eoin Cody (Kilkenny), Tony Kelly (Clare), Shane O’Donnell (Clare), Dessie Hutchinson (Waterford), Conor Whelan (Galway), Joseph Cooney (Galway), Cathal Mannion (Galway), Robbie O’Flynn (Cork), Donal Burke (Dublin), Noel McGrath (Tipperary), Killian Doyle (Westmeath).
Hurler of the Year
Diarmaid Byrnes (Limerick), TJ Reid (Kilkenny), Barry Nash (Limerick).
Young Hurler of the Year
Mikey Butler (Kilkenny), Eoin Cody (Kilkenny), Ciarán Joyce (Cork).