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Who will be 2018's winner?

Wednesday, 16th January, 2019 4:43pm

It's that time of year again, when the elite of Gaelic games gather to recognise the 12 monthly winners of 2018 at the Cork's 96FM/C103 Sports Star of the Year Awards Gala Banquet. 
Due to take place on 25 January at Rochestown Park Hotel, the gala function will see the overall winner announced along with the Kieran O'Driscoll Youth Award and the Donal Lehane Distinguished Career Awards.
Those in contention include:
January - The first winner in 2018 was former county board treasurer Pearse Murphy. Pearse was honoured for his outstanding service to the GAA, and in particular, as treasurer a role he held for over 20 years.
February - The vote was tied for February and saw Duhallow clubs Kanturk and Knocknagree recognised. For Kanturk, who won the All-Ireland Intermediate Hurling Club Final, captain Lorcan O'Neill was awarded, while for Knocknagree, who were All-Ireland Junior Football Club winners, captain Matthew Dilworth was chosen.
March - Cork’s impressive run to the Division 1 Camogie League Final produced some excellent displays, none more so then the consistency of Linda Collins, and this was acknowledged when the Courcey Rovers player was presented with March's award.
April - Valley Rovers played and won three championship games in April. An impressive run, dual player Jack Walsh was recognised for his significant contributions to the three wins; he was the second Valley Rovers player ever to win a monthly award.
May - Although it was a disappointing season for the Cork footballers, in May they were comfortable winners over Tipperary in the Munster Semi-Final where Ruairi Deane gave an outstanding display on the day.
June - Cork progressed well through the Senior and Under 21 Munster championships in hurling with a number of high profile and thrilling encounters. There were several players involved in both teams but the heroic displays produced by Darragh Fitzgibbon saw the Charleville star honoured in June.
July - Silverware was plentiful on Leeside for the month of July with Munster Hurling Final wins at Senior and Under 21 level. Blarney's Mark Coleman was instrumental for both sides, collecting two medals within a few days of each other, along with the Cork's 96FM award for this month.
August - In a period of five weeks over August, St Finbarr’s played and won five championship games in both codes and Robert O’Mahoney played in all, making August's award selection an easy pick for the judges.
September - With the All-Ireland Final heading into its 60th minute, Cork and Kilkenny were level and heading for a replay, until up stepped Orla Cotter to land a difficult and match winning free, so it was no surprise that she was named as September's winner.
October - St Finbarr's won the Senior Football County Final for the first time since 1985 and captain Ian Maguire, a hugely important player throughout the campaign, was named as October's winner as a result, the second St Finbarr's player to be recognised in 2018.
November - Although it was December when they were to win the Munster Club Final, Cloughduv had so far won the Cork Junior hurling title and enjoyed a Munster Semi-Final win in November for which Ger Aherne was chosen as 96FM's monthly winner.
December - Last, but by no means least, after enduring the heartbreak of defeats in a number of finals the Ladies Footballers of Mourneabbey finally put all that behind them to win the All-Ireland club title. The newly crowned champions had many stars but the performance of inspirational captain Brid O’Sullivan made her the stand out choice as the December winner.
The annual Cork's 96FM/C103 Sports Star of the Year Gala Banquet will take place at Rochestown Park Hotel on 25 September and the evening will be compered by Cork Independent columnist and 96FM/C103 broadcaster Finbarr McCarthy.

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