Official Aras Mumhan Website

15th December 2022

Limerick’s Diarmaid Byrnes has followed up his All-Star hurler of the year award with the Munster equivalent for 2022.

Arguably the best long-range free-taker in the game at present, the 28-year-old scored 25 points in the county’s successful five-game provincial campaign, five from play. His biggest game haul came in the Round 4 clash against Clare in Ennis when he contributed nine points, most of his scores frees from inside his own half.

The Patrickswell man has scored 55 points in total across seven Munster SHC campaigns, averaging eight points per provincial championship between 2019 and ‘21, two of which were played on a knock-out basis.

Byrnes, who emulates his club-mate Cian Lynch who won overall and Munster hurler of the year accolade in 2020, powered into the All-Ireland series when he picked off six frees in the semi-final win over Galway before adding another five, one from play, in the final victory over Kilkenny. Richie McCarthy and Seán Finn are among Limerick’s previous recipients of the award.

Ahead of their All-Ireland semi-final against Ballyhale Shamrocks on Sunday, reigning champions Ballygunner have been crowned club team of the year after claiming the Tommy Moore Cup for the first time in dramatic fashion against the same opposition in February.

Ballygunner, who are 48 championship games unbeaten in Waterford after completing the nine-in-a-row in September, began the year with a handsome 16-point triumph in their Munster final meeting with Kilmallock. At the end of last year, they saw off Ballyea and Midleton in the provincial series.

Following the Kilmallock result, they secured a five-point All-Ireland semi-final win against Slaughtneil in Parnell Park before substitute Harry Ruddle’s late goal decided the showdown with Shamrocks in Croke Park.

Darragh O’Sullivan’s team have won all 11 of their championship meetings in 2022 and have not lost a SHC fixture since the 2019 Munster final defeat against Borris-Ileigh. They follow the north Tipperary outfit who were crowned club of the year three years ago.

For her string of commendable performances in Clare’s route to a Munster final, goalkeeper Doireann Murphy has been named Munster camogie player of the year. While she plays outfield for her club Clarecastle, Murphy excelled between the posts for the Banner this past season.

Although Cork took home the provincial crown following double extra-time, they failed to raise a green flag against Murphy in a titanic 0-24 to 1-18 battle. She was also key to eventually coming through two semi-final bouts with Tipperary, conceding just one goal across two games.

A PE and Irish teacher, Murphy has won a multitude of honours at club level from U12, U16, minor, U21 and intermediate.

Cahir’s Tom Delaney has been selected as minor hurler of the year after playing an integral part in Tipperary’s provincial and All-Ireland minor successes.

Delaney scored 2-23 from play across the championship for James Woodlock’s side, including a hefty 1-12 in the Premier County’s Munster victory over Waterford. He also posted 0-3 and 1-1 against the two counties in the group fixtures. Another six points came in the All-Ireland semi-final win against Galway.

This provincial acknowledgement is the latest in a number of awards for the teenager such as his inclusion in the Electric Ireland minor hurling team of the year.

Nemo Rangers’ Bryan Hayes, who has shortlisted in the best minor footballers for 2022, is no surprise as the choice for Munster minor footballer of the year given his 2-3 performance in the provincial win over Kerry in Páirc Uí Rinn last June.

Hayes had scored three pointed frees when Cork went down to the Kingdom in the group game in Tralee but he was a catalyst in the young Rebels turning their championship around. Prior to his heroics in the final, he scored 1-5, 1-1 from play, in the semi-final win over Tipperary in FBD Semple Stadium.

The annual Munster GAA awards will be presented in Clonmel’s Minella Hotel this Saturday. It will mark the first attended event since 2019 due to the pandemic.

Minor Hurling Player of the year – Tom Delaney (Tipperary)

2022 was most certainly a landmark year for Tom as he played a major role in the Munster and All-Ireland success enjoyed by the Tipperary Minor Hurling team. As part of a very formidable full forward line, Tom contributed a total of 2-23 throughout the 2022 championship which included a massive 1-12 in his teams Munster championship win over Waterford. Tom’s performances in 2022 saw him receive numerous awards and he was also named on the Electric Ireland Minor Hurling Team of the Year.

Minor Football Player of the year – Bryan Hayes (Cork)

Bryan was a key player as Cork retained their Munster Minor Football title, even though it did not get off to the best of starts. In the opening game Kerry were comfortable winners in Tralee winning by 1-16 to 0-5, the Nemo Rangers player contributing 0-3.

Cork got their season back on track when they defeated Tipperary in the semi-final with a 3-20 to 1-13 win and in this game, Bryan really showed his quality scoring 1-5, the goal a real beauty. That set up a Munster Final with age old rivals Kerry with Páirc Uí Rinn as the venue, and this time Cork produced their best display of the season.

In the end the winning margin was 11 points, 3-11 to 0-9, with Bryan making a major impact scoring 2-3 in a resounding win for the young rebels. Apart from his scoring prowess Bryan displayed leadership qualities in all games and is sure to play a prominent part for club and county in the coming years.

Camogie Player of the Year – Doireann Murphy (Clare)

Clare goalkeeper Doireann Murphy has been named as the Munster Camogie Player of the Year. The Clarecastle native who plays outfield with her club, played excellently for her county during the 2022 inter-county championship, helping Clare to a place in Munster Final. While Cork ultimately won Munster honours after double extra-time in the Provincial Final, Doireann kept a clean sheet as Clare lost out by 0-24 to 1-18 after an epic struggle. A PE & Irish teacher, Doireann has won numerous honours at club level from Under 12, Under 16, Minor, Under 21 and Intermediate.

Club of the Year – Ballygunner (Waterford)

Its difficult to imagine how a club could have a better year than Waterford’s Ballygunner have had in 2022. Due to the Covid-19, the 2021 Munster Club Championship Final was finished in January 2022 and Ballygunner put in a dominating performance to defeat Kilmallock by 16 points. A five point win over Slaughtneil followed before a date with Ballyhale Shamrocks of Kilkenny in the All-Ireland Final beckoned.

The Kilkenny champions led throughout, by three at the interval and by five midway through the second half. With the game deep into injury time, Ballygunner still trailed by two before a passing move involving Ian Kenny, Paddy Leavey and Peter Hogan sent substitute Harry Ruddle clear from midfield. As he approached a group of Ballyhale defenders, Ruddle let fly from inside the D and the ball nestled in the bottom corner of the net. Ballygunner were All-Ireland champions.

Not content with their lot, Ballygunner went on to win their ninth Waterford title in a row before regaining their Munster crown two weeks ago. A rematch with Ballyhale awaits in Croke Park and a win would cap the perfect year for the Waterford club.

Senior Hurler of the Year – Diarmaid Byrnes (Limerick)

Patrickswell defender Diarmaid Byrnes was once again instrumental as Limerick secured Provincial and National titles. The wing-back was the long free-taking expert for Limerick, and his aerial prowess was vital as Limerick made it four-in-a-row in Munster. The majority of his nine points against Clare in Ennis, in round four, were from his own half, while his distributions to forwards were key against the same opposition, as Limerick claimed a 23rd Munster title three weeks later.

There was a five point haul in the All-Ireland Final, where a trademark effort from play, late in the day, helped see off a stern Kilkenny side. A powerful runner with the sliotar, Byrnes enjoyed his best season in the Limerick jersey, since his Senior debut in 2016. Treaty’s three-in-a-row of All-Ireland titles have seen Byrnes as an ever present, and his role was recognised with a third All-Star as well as the Hurler of the Year accolade. He joins 2020 winner, Cian Lynch in returning the Munster Senior Hurler of the Year award to Patrickswell.

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