Carlow to the fore in Joe McDonagh Team of the Year

October 25, 2023

Carlow captain Paul Doyle lifts the McDonagh Cup ©INPHO/Tom Maher

The Carlow hurlers are the dominant force in the 2023 Joe McDonagh Team of the Year, with  the two-time victors claiming a magnificent seven spots in this star-studded selection, representing five counties. 

The Dolmen County are represented in every line of the team, with goalkeeper Brian Tracey  joined by the busy Jack McCullagh and Diarmuid Byrne in defence, the point scoring James  Doyle in midfield, and the lethal finishing forwards that are Chris Nolan, Paddy Boland, and  Martin Kavanagh. 

Runners-up Offaly take up five places on the team, with their captain Jason Sampson being  joined by the powerful Ciarán Burke and the tigerish Ben Conneely in defence, with Belmont  man David Nally in midfield and the high-scoring Eoghan Cahill named among the forwards. 

Kerry man Fionán Mackessy picks up his fourth consecutive award, having also claimed the  M. Donnelly Poc fada All-Ireland title this year, along with playing a starring role in Ireland’s  recent triumph over Scotland in the revived Hurling-Shinty International. 

Explosive Laois forward Stephen Maher is named in the number ten jersey, while Down  sharpshooter Pearse Óg McCrickard is named on the other wing. 

Players from the Joe McDonagh Cup were asked to nominate outstanding performers in the  competition, with an independent selection committee adjudicating on the final team based  on player performances, supported by video footage and county nominations. 

The awards will be presented at a gala black-tie function in Croke Park this Friday night. The  show will be streamed live on from 7pm and will also feature the awards for the Ring,  Rackard and Meagher Champion 15 Team of the Year and the Tailteann Cup Team of the Year  - as well as the presentation of the overall Players of the Year in these championships. Tomorrow will see the Tailteann Cup team of the year announced. 

Joe McDonagh TOTY Selection – Carlow (7) Offaly (5) Kerry (1) Laois (1) Down (1) 

1. Brian Tracey (Carlow) 

2. Jack McCullagh (Carlow) 

3. Ciarán Burke (Offaly) 

4. Ben Conneely (Offaly) 

5. Jason Sampson (Offaly) 

6. Fionán Mackessy (Kerry) 

7. Diarmuid Byrne (Carlow) 

8. James Doyle (Carlow) 

9. David Nally (Offaly) 

10. Stephen Maher (Laois) 

11. Chris Nolan (Carlow) 

12. Pearse Óg McCrickard (Down) 

13. Paddy Boland (Carlow) 

14. Martin Kavanagh (Carlow) 

15. Eoghan Cahill (Offaly) 

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