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Irish Mirror
Irish Mirror
Pat Nolan

2022 PwC All Star hurling team named as Limerick scoop seven awards

Limerick were never likely to scale the heights of their record-breaking haul last year, but they’ve still carried off another seven PwC All Star awards.

The team is completed by four Kilkenny men, three from Clare and a single Galway representative.

Limerick’s 12 in 2021 is a record in either code, a reflection of their supreme dominance over the course of that particular Championship campaign, but they were pushed much harder this year, particularly by Clare (twice), Galway and Kilkenny in the All-Ireland final.

Their haul of seven is two fewer than their tally in the first year of the current three-in-a-row run in 2020 and is one better than they managed in 2018, when they bridged the 45-year gap to their previous All-Ireland.

In all, Limerick have collected 36 All Stars since that breakthrough season of 2018, a sizeable chunk of the county’s total haul, which now stands at 83, with Pat Hartigan and Eamon Cregan honoured on the very first selection back in 1971.

And they may feel that they could have done slightly better this time around with Sean Finn the most unfortunate to miss out this year as Kilkenny’s Mikey Butler gets the nod at right-corner back.

Limerick's Sean Finn missed out on another All Star (©INPHO/James Crombie)

Finn was bidding for what would have been a fifth successive All Star and had another fine Championship on the whole but Butler was particularly outstanding in the Leinster final and All-Ireland semi-final wins over Galway and Clare respectively.

Each of Limerick’s winners, Nickie Quaid, Barry Nash, Diarmaid Byrnes, Declan Hannon, Gearoid Hegarty, Kyle Hayes and Aaron Gillane have previously won All Stars, with Quaid surpassing his father Tommy (goalkeeper on the 1992 team) with his second and drawing level with Tommy’s cousin Joe (goalkeeper in 1994 and ‘96) to bring the family’s tally of awards to five.

Having been chosen at left half-back in each of the last two years and centre-forward this time, Hayes joins an elite group, which includes Brian Whelahan (Offaly), Brian Corcoran (Cork), Tommy Walsh (Kilkenny), Ken McGrath (Waterford) and Michael Walsh (Waterford), that have won All Stars in both defence and attack.

Butler, meanwhile, is one of five first-time winners along with fellow O’Loughlin Gaels man Huw Lawlor alongside him in the full-back line, a third Kilkenny player in Adrian Mullen and Clare pair David Fitzgerald and Shane O’Donnell.

The fourth Kilkenny player to be chosen was TJ Reid, who also contended for Hurler of the Year.

Reid, who turns 35 next month, is the oldest All Star recipient since former Tipperary goalkeeper Brendan Cummins in 2010 and the oldest outfield player to be honoured since Joe Dooley, who was marginally older when receiving his only All Star back in 1998.

Reid is also Kilkenny’s most senior All Star since Noel Skehan, who is the oldest winner of all in either code, in 1983 (38).

It’s the Ballyhale Shamrocks’ man sixth award in total though there are still a number of Kilkenny men ahead of him, namely clubmate Henry Sheffin (11), DJ Carey, Tommy Walsh (nine each), JJ Delaney and Skehan (seven each). Notably, Reid has won four of his All Stars in years where Kilkenny haven’t won the All-Ireland.

Clare’s three awards is one better than when they were last represented in 2018 and is their biggest tally since their most recent All-Ireland winning year of 2013, when they had eight.

It’s the third year in succession that Tony Kelly has been selected and his fourth award in all brings him alongside his manager Brian Lohan and Jamesie O’Connor as Clare’s most decorated All Stars.

Although he operated mostly as a wing-forward this year, the flexibility with the selection process means that Fitzgerald can be chosen at midfield. His partner, Mullen, largely operated elsewhere too but both players have credibility in the position amid heady competition in the half-forward line.

Shane O’Donnell, whose 3-3 in the 2013 All-Ireland final replay wasn’t enough to earn him an All Star having been used sparingly prior to that stunning salvo, is included at wing-forward after making an impressive return to inter-county hurling in 2022.

Padraic Mannion, the sole Galway representative, picks up his third All Star, this time at left half-back having been chosen in the right corner and right wing in 2017 and ‘18 respectively.

2022 PwC All Star Hurling Team

1 Nickie Quaid, Limerick (second award)

Nickie Quaid celebrates with the Liam MacCarthy Cup (©INPHO/Ryan Byrne)

Club: Effin
Age: 33

2 Mikey Butler, Kilkenny (first award)

Club: O’Loughlin Gaels
Age: 22

3 Huw Lawlor, Kilkenny (first award)

Kilkenny’s Huw Lawlor has been chosen in the team (©INPHO/James Crombie)

Club: O’Loughlin Gaels
Age: 26

4 Barry Nash, Limerick (second award)

Limerick's Barry Nash has won a second All Star (©INPHO/Bryan Keane)

Club: South Liberties
Age: 25

5 Diarmaid Byrnes, Limerick (third award)

Limerick's Diarmaid Byrnes had another sensational year (©INPHO/James Crombie)

Club: Patrickswell
Age: 28

6 Declan Hannon, Limerick (third award)

Limerick captain Declan Hannon is winning his third All Star award (Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne)

Club: Adare
Age: 29

7 Padraic Mannion, Galway (third award)

It's a third All Star for Galway's Padraic Mannion (©INPHO/Ken Sutton)

Club: Ahascragh-Fohenagh
Age: 29

8 David Fitzgerald, Clare (first award)

Clare’s David Fitzgerald is an All Star (©INPHO/James Crombie)

Club: Inagh-Kilnamona
Age: 26

9 Adrian Mullen, Kilkenny (first award)

Adrian Mullen had a great season for Kilkenny (©INPHO/Bryan Keane)

Club: Ballyhale Shamrocks
Age: 23

10 Gearoid Hegarty, Limerick (third award)

Limerick’s Gearoid Hegarty celebrates after this year's All-Ireland final (©INPHO/Ryan Byrne)

Club: St Patrick’s
Age: 28

11 Kyle Hayes, Limerick (third award)

Club: Kildimo-Pallaskenry
Age: 24

12 Shane O’Donnell, Clare (first award)

It's a first All Star for Clare's Shane O'Donnell (©INPHO/Laszlo Geczo)

Club: Eire Og, Ennis
Age: 28

13 Aaron Gillane, Limerick (third award)

Club: Patrickswell
Age: 26

14 TJ Reid, Kilkenny (sixth award)

TJ Reid and Brian Cody after this year's Leinster final (©INPHO/James Crombie)

Club: Ballyhale Shamrocks
Age: 34

15 Tony Kelly, Clare (fourth award)

Club: Ballyea
Age: 28


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