John Fogarty: Who are the July hurling All-Stars?

Your annual reminder of the subjective yet necessary exercise of picking All-Stars. So if the best hurling 15 of 2022 were to be picked tomorrow, what would the team look like?
John Fogarty: Who are the July hurling All-Stars?

HURLER OF THE YEAR?: Limerick's Diarmaid Byrnes. 

1 Eoin Murphy (Kilkenny): Slightly fortunate to be chosen ahead of Nickie Quaid last year but is a head and neck ahead of the Limerick goalkeeper at the moment. The best in the business.

2 Seán Finn (Limerick): Mikey Butler and Paul Flanagan have to be considered and yet Finn looks as formidable as ever. His resilience in the closing stages of Sunday’s semi-final was typical.

3 Huw Lawlor (Kilkenny): One of an O’Loughlin Gaels defensive triumvirate who will be in the shake-up for All-Stars in October, Lawlor is a totemic force at the edge of the square.

4 Barry Nash (Limerick): The chatter about him being a hurler of the year candidate isn’t without foundation. He’s a ball player first and foremost and is redefining the floating inside back role.

5 Diarmaid Byrnes (Limerick): If Nash is one HOTY contender right now, Byrnes and TJ Reid are the other two. It’s not just his placed ball accuracy but the assured presence he is on the right wing.

6 Declan Hannon (Limerick): Richie Reid is running him a close second but Hannon has carried on where he left off last year with timely examples of leadership and a calmness few centre-backs possess.

7 Paddy Deegan (Kilkenny): A defender whose versatility may have cost him in the past, Deegan’s adaptability and size is now a great asset as the Cats have caught up with the modern game.

8 Adrian Mullen (Kilkenny): Eight points in his last two games, Mullen is delivering on the potential he showed as young hurler of the year in 2019 now that he has moved from his cruciate concerns.

9 Lee Chin (Wexford): Not the sole but a primary reason for Wexford turning around their championship and then coming so close to qualifying for the semi-finals. Makes things happen.

John Fogarty's July Hurling All Stars
John Fogarty's July Hurling All Stars

11 TJ Reid (Kilkenny): A forensic analysis of Reid’s performance against Clare on Saturday would establish it as one of his greatest in a Kilkenny jersey. A phenom who doesn’t seem to grow old.

12 Shane O’Donnell (Clare): Already selected as a player of the month, O’Donnell’s return to this exquisite form from his concussion woes is a remarkable story. Unmarkable in full flight.

13 Conor Whelan (Galway): Add up the angles of all of Whelan’s scores this championship and we imagine the number would be incredibly low. The tougher the shot, the more he likes it.

14 Aaron Gillane (Limerick): A total of 3-22 from play across five games is a fine return for one of the game’s true box office players. Should have more Limerick company here after Sunday week.

15 Tony Kelly (Clare): After two iffy games against Wexford and Kilkenny (was he fully fit?), he will likely lose making the official list but he’s here after a spellbinding Munster campaign.

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Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day. PS ... We would love to hear your feedback on the section right HERE.