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Pearse Óg McCrickard named on 2023 Joe McDonagh Team of the Year

Saturday 28th October 2023

Liatroim club man Pearse Óg McCrickard is the sole representative from Down to be selected on the 2023 Joe McDonagh team of the year.

McCrickard’s inclusion at number 12 is no mean feat given that the Down hurlers found the going tough in last season’s second tier championship.

A raft of injuries to key personnel didn’t help their cause but they pulled out all the stops to beat Kildare away to save themselves from relegation.

McCrickard of Liatroim Fontenoys was a regular scorer for Ronan Sheehan’s men all season, and when they needed that final day win over the Lilywhites, McCrickard stood tall by hitting a magnificent 15 points in an eight-point victory.

“It’s well-deserved recognition for an outstanding hurler, Pearse demonstrated throughout the year the quality he always had"” said county boss Sheehan on McCrickard’s inclusion.

In total five counties are represented on the team with Carlow the dominant force claiming a magnificent seven spots. 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 10 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.

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)