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Dessie Hutchinson and Eugene Branagan were named Club Player of the Year as Ballygunner and Kilcoo dominate the awards

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All Ireland Club Champions Ballygunner and Kilcoo dominate the AIB Club Championship Teams of the Year with seven awards each.

And these clubs also provide the individual player of the year in both codes, with Dessie Hutchinson taking the Hurling Award and Eugene Branagan being voted the campaign’s best footballer.

Both teams won the titles in February by the last few goals, Harry Ruddle’s strike giving Ballygunner a first win while Jerome Johnston scored a similar success a few hours later in the football final to make for a dramatic evening.

Hutchinson’s return from a career as a professional soccer player has given Ballygunner a major boost in his quest to get over the line after so many near misses and he went 2-17 throughout the season, including 1-3 in the final. He previously won a Club Award in 2020 and is one of nine previous winners named in the 2022 team.

The program is in its fourth year but was suspended last year due to Covid.

No hurler has won awards in all four years, but Ballyhale couple TJ Reid and Joey Holden, Slaughtneil’s Brendan Rodgers and Ballygunner’s Philip Mahony each win their third. Mahony won his 2018 and 2019, Rodgers, Holden and Reid were 2019 and 2020 winners before that.

Stephen O’Keeffe and Ian Kenny from Ballygunner, Eoin Cody from Ballyhale, Fintan Burke from St Thomas and Hutchinson are the other previous winners.

Ballyhale Shamrocks are second-best represented with five, Reid, Holden, Cody and first-time winners Richie Reid and Darragh Corcoran, both named as half-backs.

Ulster champions Slaughtneil have two, Rodgers up front and Cormac O’Doherty in midfield, while Burke is the only St Thomas representative to have had just one game in the campaign, which they lost to Ballyhale after TJ Reid’s last-minute save had scored a 20-yard goal.

The Ballygunner trio of Paddy Leavey, Billy O’Keeffe and Mikey Mahony are all first-time winners.

The distribution in football is similar with Kilcoo’s seven including Eugene and Daryl Branagan, goalkeeper Neil Kane, Johnston, Ceilum Doherty, Ryan McEvoy and Micheal Rooney.

Eugene Branagan’s versatility is showcased midway forward throughout the campaign.

Kilmacud have four players in the team, Rory O’Carroll, who has had such a strong year as a centre-back, midfielder Craig Dias, Dan O’Brien at corner-back and Dara Mullin in attack.

Beaten semi-finalists St Finbarr’s and Padraig Pearses each have two substitutes.

Sam Ryan’s guidance of Kieran Donaghy in the St Finbarr’s Munster final win over Austin Stacks was a factor in his selection, while Stephen Sherlock’s consistently scoring contribution was also acknowledged.

Niall Daly was the driving force behind Pearses as they won the Connacht title, while Paul Carey’s masterwork for them in the provincial final against Knockmore also stood out. The only previous winner of an award on the 2022 team was Daryl Branagan in 2020.

The teams were selected by a panel of GAA journalists.

AIB Club Hurling Team of the Year

1. Stephen O’Keeffe (Ballygunner)

2. Ian Kenny (Ballygunner)

3. Joey Holden (Ballyhale Shamrocks)

4. Fintan Burke (St Thomas)

5. Philip Mahony (Ballygunner)

6. Richie Reid (Ballyhale Shamrocks)

7. Darragh Corcoran (Ballyhale Shamrocks)

8. Cormac O’Doherty (Slaughtneil)

9. Paddy Leavey (Ballygunner)

10. Mikey Mahony (Ballygunner)

11. TJ Reid (Ballyhale Shamrocks)

12. Billy O’Keeffe (Ballygunner)

13. Dessie Hutchinson (Ballygunner)

14. Brendan Rogers (Slaughteril)

15. Eoin Cody (Ballyhale Shamrocks)

AIB Club Football Team of the Year

1. Niall Kane (Kilcoo)

2. Sam Ryan (St Finbarrs)

3. Ryan McEvoy (Kilcoo)

4. Dan O’Brien (Kilmacud Crokes)

5. Miceal Rooney (Kilcoo)

6. Rory O’Carroll (Kilmacud Crokes)

7. Daryl Branagan (Kilcoo)

8. Craig Dias (Kilmacud Crokes)

9. Niall Daly (Padraig Pearses)

10. Ceilum Doherty (Kilkoo)

11. Jerome Johnston (Kilcoo)

12. Eugene Branagan (Kilcoo)

13. Dara Mullin (Kilmacud Crokes)

14. Steven Sherlock (St Finbarrs)

15. Paul Carey (Padraig Pearses)

https://www.independent.ie/sport/gaelic-games/dessie-hutchinson-and-eugene-branagan-named-club-players-of-the-year-as-ballygunner-and-kilcoo-dominate-awards-41610685.html Dessie Hutchinson and Eugene Branagan were named Club Player of the Year as Ballygunner and Kilcoo dominate the awards

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