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24th Jul 2023

Limerick take lion’s share of The Sunday Game team but three other counties feature

Lee Costello

Team of the Year

This isn’t a bad line-up.

The hurling championship is over, and Limerick have completed a historic four-in-a-row as the defeat Kilkenny in the All-Ireland final for the second year in a row.

The Cats were three points up at half time, and even managed to burst the net early in the second half when Paddy Deegan’s goal effort ripped through the side-netting, and a real feeling of possibility was in the air.

However, the monster from Munster went through the gears and found another level as Cian Lynch knitted everything together with several assists, and the scores just started to fly.

In the end, it was an absolute onslaught from the defending champions as Kilkenny were out on their feet, and John Kiely’s side asserted their dominance.

The next best thing about All-Ireland final day is The Sunday Game Team of the Year, as we watch the panel debate and ultimately select the best 15 hurlers of the season.

Normally the champions dominate the selection, and although Limerick do take the Lion’s share here, the rest of the team is well represented with players from three other counties making the cut.

Five Kilkenny men, two Clare men and one Galway hurler make the starting 15, and there are no real surprises in which Limerick stars take their places.

Eoin Murphy (Kilkenny)

Team of the Year

That save in the All-Ireland semi-final against Clare should have been enough to get Murphy in this team alone, but he has been brilliant all season and deserving of his place.

Mikey Butler (Kilkenny)

Butler won Young Player of the ear last season for good reason, and he only came on further in his development this season, Kilkenny have a real talent on their hands here.

Huw Lawlor (Kilkenny)

The fact that Aaron Gillane only scored two points from play in the final tells you just how good this man has been at full back. Gillane had been simply unstoppable going into this game.

Dan Morrissey (Limerick)

All of the best teams have that player that performs so consistently that they nearly go under the radar in terms of how important they are. Morrissey has had a brilliant season.

Diarmaid Byrnes (Limerick)

Diarmaid Byrnes

Just the eight points from the flying wing back in the All-Ireland final. Byrnes has been putting in monster performances all year.

Will O’Donoghue (Limerick)

With Declan Hannon out injured, O’Donoghue was given the task to fill his boots at number six, and it’s testament to the player that he did it so sucesfully.

Kyle Hayes (Limerick)

Not only has Hayes made The Sunday Game Team of the Year, but the talented half-back was also awarded with The Sunday Game Player of the Year award, such was his incredible performances this year.

Darragh O’Donovan (Limerick)

A fine point in the final is the least that O’Donovan has deserved has his efforts in the middle of the park have been vital for the champions this year.

David Fitzgerald (Clare)

It’s mighty impressive to make the Team of the Year without reaching the final, but Fitzgerald has been a driving force for Clare on the journey to the All-Ireland semi-finals, and he is fully deserving of this accolade.

Tom Morrissey (Limerick)

With an average of three-points per game, Morrissey is mr consistent for Limerick, and it’s no surprise he gets his place in this team.

TJ Reid (Kilkenny)

There are no more superlatives to describe the evergreen TJ Reid, as his incredible season saw him overtake Patrick Horgan to become the top scorer in championship history.

Shane O’Donnell (Clare)

The second player form Clare to make the team, O’Donnel has been outstanding this season, and his move from being an inside forward to a half-forward has proved to be very effective.

Eoin Cody (Kilkenny)

Team of the Year

Captain fantastic for Kilkenny, Cody has been immense and inspirational this season. A true leader.

Aaron Gillane (Limerick)

Tipped by many to be Hurler of the Year, Gillane was quiet in the final by his own standards, but absolutely decimated teams throughout this entire campaign and really stood up when it mattered most.

Conor Whelan (Galway)

Dubbed as a ‘one trick only’ by Jackie Tyrrell, Whelan has proved to everyone that he is the focal point of Henry Shefflin’s team, and has had an unbelievable season in front of goal.

Watch our All-Ireland hurling final review show with Davy Fitzgerald right here

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