Meath Ladies Awards Night a Success!

Meath Ladies held their fifth Annual Awards Night in the Newgrange Hotel, Navan on Saturday evening. Leinster Ladies President, Finbarr O’Driscoll and Meath GAA Chairman Conor Tormey and his wife Kathleen were guests of honour as Meath Ladies celebrated their most successful club championships to date.

The night was compered by Chairperson Caroline Flattery and in her opening speech she thanked Coca-Cola for their kind sponsorship of our Championships this year and thanked the media – for all their help and promotion of Meath Ladies Football this season.  The evening began with this year’s Meath Minors receiving their Leinster Championship medals, with Leinster President, Finbarr O’Driscoll presenting the team with their medals. The Minor Player of the Year was announced, a players’ vote deciding St. Michaels Marion Farrelly to be the ‘Player of the Year’. The full forward was ruthless in the Leinster Championship scoring 3-05 in the final against Wicklow which also earned the sharp shooter the Player of the Match accolade back on 4th May where Meath earned a 9-13 to 2-06 win over the Garden County.

The Meath U21s enjoyed a successful win over Cork in the Aisling McGing Championship before being beaten by the same opposition in the semi-final. With the calibre of players involved in this team, it won’t be long before Meath are competing for top honours again. For her commitment, steely determination and talent, Donaghmore-Ashbourne’s Michelle Peel was declared Meath U21 Player of the Year. Michelle was injured during the campaign, yet her commitment to the team was unwavering, a true Royal.

The Meath Seniors have had a turbulent year, exiting the Championship at the hands of the All Ireland Champions Cork back in August. The Meath Senior Player of the Year is Boardsmill’s Aideen Guy. Aideen had her best year in a Royal jersey this year and at 22 has a long career ahead of her in a Senior jersey.

Meath Ladies Senior County Player of the Year - Aideen Guy

After dinner, the presentations were quick and fast. Meath Senior Captain, Kate Byrne thanked Jenny Rispin and Anne Dungan for all their work with the Senior team this season and presented them with bouquets to thank them for all their work on behalf of the players.

The Presentations moved swiftly on to the Coca-Cola Club Championships. The Coca-Cola Senior Club Championship Player of the Year went to Oldcastle’s Bridgetta Lynch, with the Intermediate title heading to Carlanstown and St. Michaels Captain, Sinead McCormack. Dunboyne’s midfielder and Captain Julie Kavanagh was named as Coca-Cola Junior A Championship winner while Boardsmill’s Hannah Kealey took home Junior B Club Player of the Year.

Coca-Cola Junior B Club Player of the Year - Boardsmill's Hannah Kealey

Our Rising Star award this year had four nominees and this award seeks to acknowledge the commitment and skill young players make to our adult club teams. The nominees for this unique and special award are; Aoibhín Cleary (Donaghmore-Ashbourne), Ailbhe Leahy (Navan O’Mahonys), Niamh Cassidy (Simonstown), Niamh O’ Sullivan (Ballivor). While all the nominees are deserving of the Award, the winner was Don-Ashbourne’s Aoibhín Cleary. Cleary had a tremendously busy year, starring in midfield for the Meath U16s while also nailing a starting position on the Minor team – a unique combination among this year’s Squads. Aoibhín’s grit, determination, skill and team-work paid dividends as she was also a key figure for her club, Don-Ashbourne in this year’s Intermediate Championship. A very bright future lies ahead for Aoibhín and we look forward to her starring on Meath teams in 2016.

The first of our new awards this year is the Golden Boot award with some very high scores on display throughout the Championship. Junior B recipient was Caroline Quinn from Boardsmill who won with a score of 13-32 (71). Our Junior A winner was Victoria Wall from Dunboyne who kicked 8-40 (64) in the Championship. Our Intermediate winner hails from Summerhill – Niamh Crowe’s total tally was 6-37 (55) while our Senior winner goes to Sarah O’Reilly who amassed 9-44 during this year’s Senior Championship.


Meath Ladies Golden Boot winners L to R Caroline Quinn, Sarah O'Reilly, Niamh Crowe, Alisha McDermott (on behalf of Vikki Wall)


Our second new award is for Club Person of the year where clubs were asked to nominate a person who they felt went above and beyond the call of duty for their club. We had a huge response with 17 clubs nominating a very valued member for this award, each and every nominee was a worthy entrant for this award, and the amount of votes that were cast was unbelievable. While all the nominees are worthy winners in their own right, it was Dee Rangers’ Shauna Sweeney that took top honours with almost 13% of the vote, an incredibly tight competition that seen Shauna win by just four votes!

One of the largest cheers of the night was for the announcement of Club Team of the Year. Royal Gaels Féile team represented Meath in this year’s Féile and reached the Division One Final where they were beaten by a solitary point. Evidence, if any were needed that Meath teams have what it takes to play and win at the highest levels. Well done to a very special team and a super management team that have left no stone unturned to ensure this team are so well prepared heading on to the pitch. Well done also to all the nominees – St Ultans, Dee Rangers, Dunboyne, Donaghmore-Ashbourne and Ballivor. All worthy nominees and it makes the prospect of 2016 all the more exciting!

Dunboyne are the 2015 Meath Ladies Club of the Year after a tremendous season for the South Meath Club that has seen them win with seven different teams this year so far. Their adult team have struggled over the last number of years but that has surely been confined to the past as a win over St. Ultans in the Division One League Final back in May signalled their intent for the Championship. The Meath Junior A title followed in September with a win over Clann na nGael in Paddy O’Brien Park. Aoife Thompson sealed a wonderful performance with the Player of the Match accolade and since then Dunboyne have not looked back, winning a Leinster Junior Club Championship in October and they have now qualified for the All Ireland Junior title on December 5th. However, it is not just their adult team that have been collecting silverware. Dunboyne’s underage section is simply thriving with the club fielding three teams at certain grades. For the promotion of ladies football in Dunboyne, they are certainly worthy winners of the Club of the Year title.

There were several surprise announcements on the night with Dunboyne’s Vikki Wall announced as receiving Outstanding Achievement Award for an exceptional year for the Dunboyne forward. Vikki made her debut for the Meath Senior Ladies team and was a pivotal member of the Leinster Interprovincial team and was the top scorer for them.  She was a key part of the Meath minor team that won a Leinster Title in May.  She is also involved with Dunboyne Junior ladies team where she was their top scorer, receiving Leinster Junior Final player of the match against Skerries Harps and she is also involved in training and referees underage games for her club and the county. 2015 was truly a special year, and at 18 years of age, there is a very bright future ahead for Vikki.

Our outstanding contribution to Meath Ladies in 2015 goes to Marian Timmons and Eamon Murray. In Meath Ladies we are very lucky to have such a dedicated group of people, they arrange fixtures, stand at gates, help run meetings, training sessions, make the tea and generally anything else that is required. This year we have two recipients and these two people go above and beyond the call and whenever we’re stuck for help or to take a training session all you have to do is lift the phone and they will come to your assistance. This year Marian assisted Phil Fay with the U16s while Eamon managed the Minor and U21 teams while also a firm member of Ollie Bowe’s coaching team for the Meath U12s. We would like to thank all over volunteers who give tirelessly of their time, oftentimes while also having other commitments.

The 2015 Hall of Fame was awarded to Simonstown’s Sara Shiels. Unfortunately Sara couldn’t attend on Saturday night, however she was surprised while at training last week and was presented with her Award. Sara has dedicated over 26 years to ladies football in Meath. She has worked tirelessly with her club and with the county and was involved with the under 16 county team that won the All Ireland in 2000 and also for many years was our Injury claims secretary. Sara is constantly working for her club with the underage girls and always has time for the youngsters involved. Her immeasurable contribution to ladies football within Meath makes Sara a fitting fifth member of the Meath Ladies Hall of Fame.

Caroline brought proceedings to a close by thanking all those involved in organising the Awards Night, thanked and congratulated all the winners and nominees and wished everyone a safe journey home. Meath Ladies would like to thank the Newgrange Hotel for once again looking after us and to thank all the volunteers who ensure Meath Ladies Football continues to provide sport for young ladies in this county for many years to come.

The Meath Ladies AGM takes place on December 7th in Walterstown GFC at 7.30 sharp. The 2015 Season has had its ups and downs, and it’s still not over yet with Dunboyne’s All Ireland Final on December 5th and a number of Minor Finals to look forward to yet!




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