Ladies: Royal Awards Night Set for December 2nd
16 November 2016
Another successful year for St Ultans and Geraldine Doherty, Ciara Murray and Elaine Duffy
After another successful year on the football fields, the Meath Ladies Gaelic Football family will come together on December 2nd in the Castle Arch Hotel in Trim to celebrate the year gone by. And what a year it was with St. Ultans retaining the Senior Championship title, Royal Gaels winning the Intermediate title and most importantly more girls than ever turning out to play club championship football.
Special guests on the night will be the Minor All Ireland and Leinster winning team. Eamon Murray’s charges overcame Kildare in the Leinster B Final before reaching the All Ireland Final, defeating a skilful Cavan side en route. They faced Roscommon in the All Ireland Final and ran out 4-09 to 3-01 winners, Minor Captain Marion Farrelly bagging 2-04 in the process. Their receipt of All Ireland Medals at the now traditional Awards Night represents a culmination of hard work at both club and county level.
Also receiving medals on December 2nd will be the Under 21 team who ran just short against Cavan in the All Ireland U21 Blitz back in May. The competition, which was reduced to a one day event due to other teams pulling out, was a useful exercise ahead of the Leinster Senior Championship, and with the sunshine, Meath thoroughly enjoyed their day.
The club awards have now become tradition on the Meath Ladies Calendar and the picking of this year’s nominees no less a daunting task. Clubs have become central to the nomination process and their suggestions have put forward fresh faces in this year’s categories.
In the Senior Championship, Oldcastle duo Bridgetta Lynch and Joanna Byrne are nominated alongside Orlaith Duff from Dee Rangers, Amy Troy from Boardsmill and Championship winner Shauna Monaghan of St. Ultans. In the Intermediate Championship, Player of the Match from the final Niamh O’Sullivan of Royal Gaels is nominated alongside team mate Tara Ryan, Meath Minor Captain Marion Farrelly of St. Michaels, Julianne Scanlon of Summerhill and Vikki Wall from Dunboyne.
The Junior A Championship was a closely run affair and St. Colmcilles seized victory in sensational style over Dunsany. Grainne Rice gets the nod from the Cilles while Dunsany duo Tracy King and Megan Thynne are also put forward after a terrific season in red and white. Ballivor’s Sinead Burke and St. Pats Emma White are also rewarded with nominations after terrific seasons for their respective teams.
In the Junior B Championship, Walterstown overcame a strong Skryne challenge and it comes as little surprise that both inspiring captains find themselves nominated – Julie Donnellan of Walterstown and Eimear Finnerty of Skryne. After transferring to the Tones earlier this year, Katie Melady’s impact was instant as she helped push the Tones into the Championship semi-finals. In a battle of the full forwards, Skryne’s Colleen Jordan and Walterstown’s Mollie Grey both find themselves nominated in what was a terrific season for both players.
The increase of numbers playing adult football in 2016 is evidently seen in the creation of the Junior C Championship. Simonstown’s first ever Junior team were crowned champions with centre forward Rachael Flynn’s Player of the Match performance earning her a nomination while the opposition on the night came from Oldcastle and Aoife Caffrey was vital here. After coming together at the end of 2015, Slane and Rathkenny entered an amalgamated adult team into competition for the first time and narrowly missed out on a final spot – Caoimhe McKenna earning a well deserved nomination. A player certainly to watch out for the in the future, Cara Usher of Royal Gaels also earned a nomination while Eimear Smith rolled back the years and put in a super performance for Seneschalstown’s Junior team.
The Rising Star award seeks to acknowledge the contribution under 16s make on adult teams and this year six players have made the cut. Full forward for the Simonstown Junior team, Tara Berigan was crucial for victory while Orlagh Lally from Clann na nGael made her presence felt in the Junior A Championship as they narrowly missed out on a second Junior A final appearance. St. Michael’s Seona Lynch continues to tear defences apart both at under 16 and adult level making her worthy of nomination. Katie Newe’s talents were well utilised by Ratoath while Abbie Timmons enjoyed one of her finest seasons in an Ashbourne jersey as they gained Division Two honours. Boardsmill’s Rachel Troy’s season only got better as her team reached their first ever Senior final. There is surely no lack of young talent and it is worth noting that four of the six footballers nominated for the Rising Star Award also played County Football for the Under 16s this season.
The Club Team of the Year and Club of the Year are the highlights of the night. Last year Royal Gaels’ Feile team and Dunboyne were crowned respective titles and this year both clubs reappear. After their two in a row of league titles and reaching the Intermediate Final, Dunboyne have enjoyed another successful season and this team has been put forward for Team of the Year alongside Royal Gaels who find themselves back in Senior ranks for 2017 after their super win and indeed progression to Leinster Intermediate club semi-finalists. St. Ultans proved their worth in Pairc Tailteann as they were crowned Senior Champions for a second year in a row while St. Colmcilles finally made the break through from Junior A football when they defeated Dunsany. In the Club of the Year category, Donaghmore-Ashbourne, Drumbaragh, Royal Gaels and St. Colmcilles find themselves nominated for the exceptional work they are doing at all levels in their respective clubs.
The Club Person of the Year Award, initiated in 2015 and won by Shauna Sweeney from Dee Rangers seeks to reward the volunteers who give so much of their time and effort to support, encourage and promote their club. The announcements of the 2016 nominees has already begun on Meath LGFA Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages. When all announcements are complete, the voting lines will open for a set amount of time and when closed, the top three will be announced with the winner being announced on the night. Other awards to be announced on the night are the 2016 Golden Boot Award winners and another person will be inducted into the Meath Ladies Hall of Fame, won in 2015 by Simonstown’s Sara Shiels!
After a successful 2016 season, the 2nd of December is sure to be a fitting way to end the year, with the Meath Ladies AGM set for the following Sunday, 4th December!
Nominees for Player Awards for 2016
Coca-Cola Senior Club Championship Player of the Year;
Joanna Byrne – Oldcastle
Orlaith Duff – Dee Rangers
Bridgetta Lynch – Oldcastle
Shauna Monaghan – St. Ultans
Amy Troy – Boardsmill
Coca-Cola Intermediate Club Championship Player of the Year;
Marion Farrelly – St. Michaels
Niamh O’Sullivan – Royal Gaels
Tara Ryan – Royal Gaels
Julianne Scanlon – Summerhill
Vikki Wall – Dunboyne
Coca-Cola Junior A Club Championship Player of the Year;
Sinead Burke – Ballivor
Tracy King – Dunsany
Gráinne Rice – St. Colmcilles
Megan Thynne – Dunsany
Emma White – St. Pats
Coca-Cola Junior B Club Championship Player of the Year;
Julie Donnellan - Walterstown
Eimear Finnerty – Skryne
Mollie Grey – Walterstown
Colleen Jordan - Skryne
Katie Melady – Wolfe Tones
Coca-Cola Junior C Club Championship Player of the Year;
Aoife Caffrey – Oldcastle
Rachael Flynn – Simonstown
Caoimhe McKenna – Slane/Rathkenny
Eimear Smith – Seneschalstown
Cara Usher – Royal Gaels
Tara Berigan – Simonstown
Orlagh Lally – Clann na nGael
Seona Lynch – St. Michaels
Katie Newe – Ratoath
Abbie Timmons – Donaghmore Ashbourne
Rachel Troy – Boardsmill
Club Team of the Year;
Donaghmore Ashbourne Intermediate Team – Division Two League winners
Dunboyne Intermediate Team – Division One League winners and Intermediate Finalists
Royal Gaels Intermediate Team – Championship winners
St. Ultans Senior Team – Championship winners
Club of the Year;