Limerick's stranglehold on the PwC GAA/GPA All-Star hurling team has loosened somewhat, down to seven from last year's record-breaking dozen, but it was still a banner evening for the western seaboard.

Limerick, Clare (three) and Galway (one) make up more than two-thirds of the selection, with Kilkenny (four) the only other county to contribute to the 2022 team of the year.

Goalkeeper Nickie Quaid, Hurler of the Year nominees Barry Nash and Diarmaid Byrnes, captain Declan Hannon, Gearóid Hegarty, Kyle Hayes and Aaron Gillane are the Limerick contingent.

This means Sean Finn misses out on a fifth straight All-Star, but it's hard to argue with the inclusion of Kilkenny duo Mikey Butler and Huw Lawlor in the full-back line. Adrian Mullen and Hurler of the Year nominee TJ Reid make up the Cats quartet.

Clare are represented by midfielder David Fitzgerald, the resurgent Shane O'Donnell and four-time All-Star Tony Kelly.

Padraic Mannion was the sole Galway representative, at wing-back, and with only four counties represented there was no historic second All-Star for Westmeath.

Centre-forward Killian Doyle was the first hurling nominee from the Lake County since 1986, when David Kilcoyne won their first and only All-Star to date.

1. Nickie Quaid (Limerick)

It wasn't quite at the level of Dublin disatisfaction with Stephen Cluxton's repeated exclusion, but if the near flawless Quaid had stayed on a single All-Star award for much longer there would have been grumbles out of the Mid-West. Second only to Eoin Murphy in terms of shot-stopping, Quaid's ability to marshal a defence and distribute the ball is without peer.

2. Mikey Butler (Kilkenny)

As debut seasons go, this one wasn't bad. The 22-year-old O'Loughlin Gaels man made his name this year as a man-marker so sticky he could remove Tony Kelly from the All-Ireland semi-final equation. A first All-Star and, if this year's anticipation, pace, hooking, blocking and aerial ability is anything to go by, it won't be his last.

3. Huw Lawlor (Kilkenny)

Immense in the centre of the Kilkenny defence, Lawlor wins his first All-Star after a summer that saw him go toe-to-toe with Aaron Gillane, Conor Whelan and Peter Duggan. He was never bested physically and displayed a cool head on the edge of the square that his erstwhile manager Brian Cody would have appreciated.

4 Barry Nash (Limerick)

Being nominated for hurler of the year pretty much guarantees you an All-Star award and this is the corner-back's second successive place on the team of the year. Himself and Finn have become the prototype corner-backs. Strong and imposing but lightning quick, Nash is also happy to carry the ball up field, pick out a team-mate or shoot the occasional score.

5 Diarmaid Byrnes (Limerick)

Limerick's second defender nominated for Hurler of the Year after a quite sensational campaign. His free-taking from distance was on a par with anyone we have seen before, while he also chipped in with more than a wing-back's fair share from play, to finish the year eighth in the scoring charts with 36 points. That did not take away from his defensive duties, which he carried out with the trademark Limerick aggression and anticipation.

6 Declan Hannon (Limerick)

The history-making captain who lifted Liam MacCarthy for a fourth time in July did so after a sublime performance against Kilkenny. The rock around which the Limerick defence is built, he has a knack for being where the ball is arriving, is always there for team-mates and distributes the ball with aplomb. The 29-year-old's third award.

7 Padraic Mannion (Galway)

A third All-Star for the Galway wing-back and a first in four years is reward for a season when he was the picture of consistency in Henry Shefflin's side. Chipped in with six points from half-back but he is the archetypal wing-back, strong in possession and tenacious without.

8 David Fitzgerald (Clare)

One of Clare's best performers as the Banner appeared to be rising to meet Limerick. Had a good Munster final, and scored in the win over Wexford. The first-time winner's tackling and support play was outstanding in Clare's run to the Munster final.

9 Adrian Mullen (Kilkenny)

The one-time forward has found his calling around the middle of the field. Brings all the physicality and aerial ability you expect from a Kilkenny midfielder, with the added bonus of scoring 28 points from play across the course of the season. Has the happy knack of rising to the occasion.

10 Gearoid Hegarty (Limerick)

What can we say? This guy is pretty good. His All-Ireland final performance (not for the first time) was one for the ages. Scored 1-05 but that only tells half the story. He popped up in defence, he was always available for a pass and claimed more than his fair share of puck-outs. Showed superb skill and strength to collect a loose ball and burst past Richie Reid before blasting a goal past Eoin Murphy. But still only his second best goal of the year after the one in the Munster hurling final (above).

11 Kyle Hayes (Limerick)

Another big year from the big man, who returned to the forward division in the absence of reigning Hurler of the Year Cian Lynch. His physical presence is central to Limerick's pressure game and he was the man to drop back into the full-back line to defend leads in the closing stages of close games.

12 Shane O'Donnell (Clare)

Hello Shane O'Donnell 2.0. After a 2021 that was disrupted by injury, O'Donnell reminded everyone of the class that he possesses this year, playing a different game for Brian Lohan's Banner. No longer the nippy inside forward, but now the all-action half-forward. Even in games where he didn't score, his work-rate and movement opened the doors for team-mates. A first All-Star is just rewards for a player who thought his career was over after concussion issues.

13 Aaron Gillane (Limerick)

Says a lot about the standards we set for Gillane that his All-Ireland final performance was considered to be below par, but he had set the bar pretty high earlier in the season. Scored 3-47 and always offered a threat in Limerick's full-forward line, with his ability to claw in those diagonal balls giving full-backs palpitations and wondering whether to mark the Patrickswell man from the front or the back. A nightmare well deserving of his third All-Star.

14 TJ Reid (Kilkenny)

A sixth All-Star for the Ballyhale great who is firmly in the 'GOAT conversation', according to former team-mate Eddie Brennan, who happened to also play alongside DJ Carey and Henry Shefflin. His game has evolved as he enters his hurling dotage, but his ability to win the ball high, low, clean, dirty and to always make the right decision, be it to pass, shoot or take a foul, is remarkable.

15 Tony Kelly (Clare)

Up until that semi-final rendezvous with Mikey Butler, the Banner supremo was leading candidate for Hurler of the Year. His Munster final performance will live long in the memory, particularly that line ball to level matters. University courses could be taught on his ability to find space.