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Cork Independent


Who is the GAA Sports Star of the Year?

Wednesday, 31st January, 2018 5:35pm

The cream of the crop in GAA circles will gather this Friday when the Cork's 96FM/C103 Sports Star of the Year for 2017 will be chosen.

With 12 worthy recipients to choose from, this will be no easy task for the judging panel, while the Distinguished Career and Kieran O'Driscoll awards will also be presented on the night. Won last year by Glen Rovers and Cork hurler Patrick Horgan, this year the 12 nominees are:

David Drummond, Coachford College

A special month for David and the school’s senior football team, as they won the Munster ‘B’ championship, defeating Mitchelstown in the final. It was just reward for a man who has been coaching teams in the school for 14 years and this year while he was ably assisted by Adrigole’s Kevin Jer O’Sullivan.

Shane O'Donovan, Mayfield

18 February 2017 is a date that will forever be etched in the memory banks of a legion of Mayfield supporters. On a never to be forgotten afternoon in Croke Park, the famous northside club were crowned All-Ireland Junior Hurling Champions.

During their one point victory over Kilkenny’s Mooncoin, their centre-back and captain Shane O’Donovan gave a master class in the art of defending and leadership and was a worthy recipient for the February award.

Luke Meade, Mary I and Cork

The prestigious Fitzgibbon Cup did not find a resting place on Leeside but there was a strong Cork representation on the wining Mary Immaculate team who were coached by Kilbrittain's Jamie Wall and Newtownshandrum’s Conor Twomey.

Newcestown’s Luke Meade played a pivotal role over the cup weekend and also impressed with Cork, scoring crucial goals in the league wins over Waterford and Tipperary.


Niamh Ni Chaoimh, Cork Camogie

An inspirational captain, Niamh was a pivotal player as Cork went through Division 2 of the National League unbeaten and capped an exciting few months by defeating Derry to capture the title.

Niamh and her team mates also enjoyed an excellent championship campaign and were unlucky to lose the All-Ireland Final to Meath after a replay.

Michael Cahalane, Bandon and Cork

A fairytale story for the young star from Bandon, who overcame a serious illness to return to action for club and county.

Bandon had a great to their first season back in the senior ranks of Cork hurling and the fairytale was completed as Michael struck the crucial goal as Cork defeated All-Ireland champions Tipperary in the Munster championship win in Thurles in May.

Damien Cahalane, St Finbarr's and Cork

A monthly winner in football a few years ago, Damien completed a nice double with a hurling accolade following a string of outstanding displays with both St Finbarr’s and Cork.

Who will forget his remarkable solo run from defence in the closing stages of the Munster Final that set up a clinching point as Cork were crowned Munster champions?

Eoin and Brian Roche, Cork minors and under 17 hurlers

The second set of brothers to be honoured as they played vital roles when the Cork under 17s were crowned Munster champions with some quality displays. In the All-Ireland series, Brian and Eoin continued to excel as Cork saw off the challenge of Galway and Dublin to win the inaugural championship, the final of which was played in Croke Park.

The up and coming Bride Rovers stars were also members of the Cork minor team that captured the Munster Championhip.

Brian Turnbull, Cork minor hurler

A season in which Brian left an indelible mark with his scoring exploits, along with his all round general play that made him a vital member of a team that captured the public’s imagination. Brian was top scorer in the All-Ireland Minor Championship and was named as the Munster Minor Hurler of the Year and the Electric Ireland Minor Hurler of the year.

Aoife Murray, Cork Camogie

It was a dramatic All-Ireland Final as Cork won their 27th title to top the roll of honour while it was an eighth senior medal and another All-Star for the top goalkeeper in the country.

Aoife has been an integral part of the Cork team for many years now and her dedication to the cause is evident, as despite being based in Dublin, she rarely misses a training session.

Luke Connolly, Nemo Rangers

As Nemo collected their twentieth county title and their sixteenth Munster Club Championship title, Luke was a key figure throughout with his fantastic scoring exploits, among them some cracking goals.

Luke scored ten points in the Munster Club Final win over Dr Crokes and also enjoyed a great season with the Cork footballers.

Darren Browne, Kanturk

A season never to be forgotten in Kanturk, winning a Cork Championship double, senior status in hurling and a Munster title thrown in.

In all, 14 championship games played in hurling and football and Darren, who was a member of the Cork Under 21 hurling panel, played in every one of them.

The Mary I student has an All-Ireland Final vs St Patrick’s Ballyraggett on Sunday to look forward to as Croke Park beckons for Darren and his clubmates.

Anthony O'Connor, Knocknagree

Another Duhallow club completed a memorable season winning County and Munster Junior Football titles, and in the process, broke Kerry’s grip on the provincial title.

Through it all, Anthony was a key player and his crucial goals in both finals went a long way to securing the double.

Knocknagree and Anthony are now preparing for an All-Ireland Final in Croke Park on Saturday against Westmeath champions Multyfarnham.

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