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Who to look out for this year in The Joe McDonagh Cup

This weekend is the beginning of The Joe McDonagh Cup, which marks the start of the Hurling season for the summer! Here are some of players that you should look out for during The Joe McDonagh Cup.

Every summer, the Hurling field acts as a stage for hurlers to show off their best skills and talents. It makes us sit up and watch them, admire their skills and we note them as a player to look out for.

With the restructuring of the All Ireland Senior Hurling Championship, it will see the Joe McDonagh Cup be played for the first time.

There will be six teams competing against each other and the opportunity to gain promotion to the All Ireland Senior Hurling Championship, so you are guaranteed to see some serious style of play action.

Who to look out for

The Joe McDonagh Cup will begin this Saturday, which officially marks the beginning of the Hurling season for the Summer!

Keep an eye out for these players while you attend or watch the matches!

John Dillon – Antrim

Dillon never played at Minor or U-21 level for Antrim, but since joining the Senior Hurling team, the Glen Rovers club man has made a big impact.

He performed brilliantly last year at fullback and is the anchor of Antrim‘s defence.

He was awarded Ulster Hurler of the Year at the beginning of this year, a definite player to look out for this Summer!

James Doyle – Carlow

During last year’s Chisty Ring Final, James Doyle had a fantastic game. Carlow saw off competition from Antrim to win the game 5-23 to 4-15.

Out of the five goals for Carlow, four of them came from Doyle.

If Doyle plays like that this summer, he will create problems for the opposition’s defence line.

Shane Nolan – Kerry

The talented Crotta O’Neills club man is vital for Kerry and their attack line. Nolan will be heavily marked as their key man.

If he plays to his full potential, he could make all the difference for the Kingdom in their campaign for the Joe McDonagh Cup. 

Patrick Purcell – Laois

An extremely talented player, Purcell is dangerous in midfield for Laois. He can shoot scores from down the field, but also has the accuracy that is needed to finish them.

Last year, during LaoisLeinster Championship meeting with Meath, Laois manager Eamonn Kelly descried Purcell’s performance as “one of the greatest midfield displays”  that he could remember.

Sean Quigley – Meath

Sean Quigley is Meath‘s free taker and is one of their key men. He helped Meath win the Christy Ring Cup back in 2016. 

They will rely on his speed and accuracy this summer as the Royals bid to win the Joe McDonagh Cup.

Tommy Doyle – Westmeath

Tommy Doyle is Westmeath‘s towering fullback and at the heart of their defence. He makes an impact on any game he plays.

He proved this when he prevented Tipperary full-forward Seamus Callanan from scoring at all during the All-Ireland SHC Qualifier Round 1 clash.

Doyle will surely do the same this summer against any opposition in The Joe McDonagh Cup.


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Ellen McConville

Typically found on the sidelines or in Croke Park, Ellen is the Sports Content Editor for Littlewoods Ireland and your go-to gal for all things GAA. A big lover of all things Christy Moore, fashion and some wine and cheese as well.

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