Congratulations to Paddy Purcell who has this morning been named Joe McDonagh Cup Player of the Year for 2019.
The Rathdowney-Errill ace, who captained Laois this year, bet off competition from Kerry and Westmeath to claim the prize.
Purcell was up against Westmeath’s Killian Doyle and Kerry’s Shane Conway for the overall prize but has won out.
He will be presented with his award at the All-Stars event in the Convention Centre which is live on RTE One from 7pm this evening.
Yesterday, it was confirmed that Laois’s 34-year wait for a second hurling All-Star would go on as our two nominees missed out on a spot on the team for this year.
Keeper Enda Rowland and defender Jack Kelly became Laois’s first All-Star nominees in over a decade earlier this month.
Hopes were high that at least one of the lads would follow in Pat Critchley’s footsteps and make it in the final selection but unfortunately that is not the case.
It was a further kick in the face for the Laois lads after we revealed last week that the GAA had decided to scrap the Joe McDonagh ‘Champion 15’ awards.
Last year, in the first year of the competition, the GAA announced a Champion 15 that had six players from winners Carlow, five from runners up Westmeath and one each from Laois (Ross King), Meath, Antrim and Kerry.
So, in line with that thinking, Laois would have been entitled to six players this year but instead they won’t have any.
Instead the GAA, when announcing the Champion 15 selections for the Christy Ring, Nicky Rackard and Lory Meahger Cup, they said that the Joe McDonagh Cup players were to be considered for Liam McCarthy Cup All-Stars instead.
But at least Paddy has deservedly won his award and we pass on our congratulations.