Terenure’s kicking king Caolan Dooley wins AIL Division 1A player of the season

Michelle Claffey of Blackrock College wins women’s AIL player of the season as awards are handed out

Caolan Dooley landed 11 out of 12 kicks in Terenure College's victory over Clontarf in the Energia All-Ireland League Division 1A Final at the Aviva Stadium Aviva Stadium, Dublin 7/5/2023 Clontarf vs Terenure College Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Ben Brady

Caolan Dooley’s magnificent exhibition of goalkicking in Terenure’s 50-24 win over Clontarf in the Energia All-Ireland final has earned him the men’s Division 1A player of the season award.

The 23-year-old Limerick centre, a one-time back-up goalkicker to Ben Healy when Glenstal won their maiden Munster Schools Senior Cup in 2018, landed 11 out of 12 shots at goal – his one miss hit the upright – from all manner of unlikely distances an angles in scoring 30 points in front of an Aviva Stadium record AIL final crowd of 8,642

Following on from his 20-point haul in Terenure’s semi-final win over Cork Constitution, his masterclass so impressed Ronan O’Gara that the all-time leading points scorer for Munster and Ireland commended Dooley on social media.

The Terenure squad celebrated for several days, which was just as well for Dooley as he declined to drink any alcohol until finishing his university exams two days after the final, when they were across the road in a Ballsbridge hostelry to greet him afterwards.

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Michelle Claffey in action for Blackrock College in the Energia All-Ireland Women's League Division One Final against Railway Union. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

Michelle Claffey was named the Energia All-Ireland League Women’s Division player of the season. Claffey captained Blackrock College to their first All-Ireland League Women’s Division title since 2008 when preserving their unbeaten record with a 27-7 win over Railway Union in the final last December.

The full list of award winners

Men – Division 1A: Caolan Dooley (Terenure College); Division 1B: Ryan O’Neill (City of Armagh); Division 2A: David Whitten (Queen’s University); Division 2B: Michael Doyle (Greystones); Division 2C: Rhys O’Donnell (Instonians). Men’s division coach of the season: Chris Parker (City of Armagh).

Women’s Division player of the season: Michelle Claffey (Blackrock College). Women’s Division coach of the season: Jason Moreton (Wicklow).

Referee of the season: Peter Martin (Queen’s University).

Club Scene Award: Cork Constitution.

Community Hero Award: David Hicks (De La Salle Palmerstown).

Possibilities Award: Wicklow.

Gerry Thornley

Gerry Thornley

Gerry Thornley is Rugby Correspondent of The Irish Times