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2023 Left Wing Back Carlow Hurling Team of The Year

LWB Reporter
August 17, 2023

Each time Kev, Joe and Stevie sit down to pick this it's an absolute nightmare. For all invovled!

This year Kev was willing to go and abandon morals and only count the games of proper Championship flair when selecting players for the team.

But in fairness the full Championship must be taken into consideration irrespective of the pace or seriousness of the majority of group games.

So lets delve into the madness.


Brian Treacy (Naomh Eoin)

The headache started literally with the first position! So many keepers were so good.

The steadiness that Frank Foley brought to proceedings when he came out of retirement. The cruel amount of point blank saves that Thomas Dowling brought off. Everyone had their moments.

But we went with Brian Treacy. Clean sheets in 3 of the 5 games that Naomh Eoin played, excellent puckouts, a number of top class saves and long range frees.

Trajectory of puckouts has visibly improved also.


Sean Joyce (MLR)

Held his position in a competitive part of the MLR team. Was consistent right throughout the Championship and stuck to every task manfully showing experience well beyond his years at times.

Dion Wall (Ballinkillen)

As tough and solid a defender as you will get anywhere. Captained Ballinkillen this year and led by example with his performances. Came out with the world of ball in every game and silenced a lot of big guns along the way. Would be a super addition to the county set up.

Paul Doyle (St Mullins)

A serious operator. The man seems to be getting better every year. Strong in the tackle, great to break a line out of defence and loves the challenge of marking the best players out there. Had the unenviable task of looking after Chris Nolan for much of the county final, but wasn't helped by the world of space left in front of him in that game. Still managed to come out with a lot of ball on the day and was excellent across the season.


Dwaine Kavanagh (Naomh Eoin)

Naomh Eoin's best outfield player all year. This man played 4 years county minor hurling and started all 4 years. That promise never fully carried through into Senior county but he has always been excellent for the club.

Got himself into great shape this year, mopped up an awful lot of ball, his distribution was top class and as always the long range frees were pin point.

Kevin McDonald (MLR)

The most versatile and arguably the most skillful hurler in the county. If this man doesn't get Hurler of The Year it's all a cod! Simply superb at centre back and one of the main reasons why MLR became county champions.

Jack Kavanagh (St Mullins)

Fluctuated between half back and midfield and was equally as effective in both areas of the field. One of the bright lights in the final and this was possibly one of his best years of Hurling for both club and county if not the best. Getting better with age.


Fiachra Fitzpatrick (MLR)

In fairness, Fiachra seems to get mentioned on every podcast (not just because Stevie loves him!), but his performances are always consistent. Gets on an awful lot of ball in the middle third and like Jack Kavanagh was good in around the half back line also and somehow picks up scores while managing to keep under the radar somehow.

James Doyle (St Mullins)

Has put down an incredible season. Toss of a coin between himself and Kevin Mac for Hurler of the Year before the county final. Found the going tough with Jon Nolan in that final, but still managed to have an influence in the second half albeit at wing forward instead. Pace, power, brains, accuracy, Doyle has it all and showed it this year again.


Marty Kavanagh (St Mullins)

Finished top scorer in the Championship. Picking up a knock early in the final had to have had a bearing on his performance. Despite this he still managed 0-9 with two from play. But aside from the final, his influence has been massive on St Mullins this year. He won a lot of the frees that he ended up converting throughout the year and at times got fierce hardship. He's not afraid to let his opponent know what his thoughts are either! Some operator.

Jon Nolan (MLR)

Criminally underrated at times. Has proven his worth as a score getter, score stopper, distributor, you name it and this man has shown that he can do it anywhere from 5-15.

His performance in the final will live long in the memory, not least for the two brilliant blocks in quick succession on James Doyle. When Nolan came back from injury, MLR looked a different side.

Dean Tobin (MLR)

Probably not the first player that a lot of people would have on this team but his contributions on the score board for MLR can't be ignored. 1-16 from play. A great man to score from long range and supplied good ball from the middle third this year also. Isn't always in the limelight but tends to pick off his few scores consistently in most games.


Chris Nolan (MLR)

Has that X Factor that very few have had in the history of Carlow Hurling. Produces moments of magic in every game and the bigger the occasion the more he loves it. His last score in the final summed up not only MLR's day, but what must go down as one of the best year's Chris has put in so far. And the mad thing is he's still only in his mid 20's!

Craig Doyle (Bagenalstown Gaels)

Another ageless wonder. Into the wrong side of the mid 30's (marginally though!) but still delivers time and time again in every game. It's not the accuracy from frees that has him here, it's the cuteness and ability to bring others into the game that really stood out this year. Still has the ability to break in on goal and his teammates often peeled away and benefited from pin point passes after such breaks.

Jake Doyle (Bagenalstown Gaels)

Scored 6-8 in the Championship, all of those scores bar one came from play. A ruthless finisher who will always go for the jugular when it's on. Capable of scoring outrageous points also. Will be the go to man for Bagenalstown in terms of scores for many years to come.

Some of those unlucky to miss out...

We didn't delve into this on air because we could name lads forever, which is why we contemplated not writing this section either. But we made a go of it regardless of the public outcry to come!

As mentioned above, Frank Foley and Thomas Dowling were excellent.

Darragh Nolan was inspirational in defence for Bagenalstown and will likely lead them from that area whenever stalwart Alfie Corcoran finishes up, who was also excellent with the limited game time he got to play.

Diarmuid Byrne helped to transform MLR at 3, along with Michael Doyle at corner back.

John Doran, Paudie Kehoe, Paidi O'Se, and newcomer Eamonn O'Se all had their moments.

Eoin Kavanagh was outstanding for Ballinkillen but doesn't make it in either.

Richie Coady and Gary Lawlor were others to mention along with Mark McDonald, while Darren Crooks was very steady in the few games he played.

Further up the field Ciaran Kavanagh and Donagh Murphy had their moments, as did Jack Treacy, Aaron Amond and Mikey Bambrick.

Paddy McDonnell was dangerous for the Town, while Conor Kehoe and Jason O'Neill impressed at various stages also.

Sorry to anyone we forgot!