SLIDESHOW: The 2019 Limerick Sports Star of the year award winners

Donn O'Sullivan, Sports Editor

Reporter:

Donn O'Sullivan, Sports Editor

Email:

sport@limerickleader.ie

The 2019 Limerick Sports Star awards, in conjunction with the Limerick Leader, Keanes Jewellers and the Radisson Blu Hotel Limerick, were held this Thursday afternoon where the three main awards of the year were presented. 

The overall 'Team of the year' award winners were the 2018 All-Ireland Limerick Senior hurling team who famously won the Liam MacCarthy Cup for the first time in 45 years on August 19. The Limerick hurling side were represented on the day by Dan Morrissey and Sean Finn. 

The overall 'Sports Star of the year' award was won by Ireland hockey international Roisin Upton. The World Cup silver medalist is a former pupil of Crescent College Comprehensive and is part of the Irish Women's hockey side who are seeking qualification for the 2020 Olympic Games. 

The final award of the day, the 'Young Sports Star of the Year' award went to Ciara Neville. The young sprinter has been selected for the Ireland team which competes at the European Indoor Athletics Championships in Glasgow from March 1-3

2018 Winners

Limerick Senior Hurlers

Limerick Hurlers

Looking back on Sunday 19th August 2018 I’m sure it will go down in history as the day the Limerick Senior hurlers ended a 45-year drought for an All-Ireland title.  To see Limerick overcome the final obstacle in such a tense and exhilarating game, with so many heart stopping moments, was a joy to behold.  Limerick's eighth ever All Ireland senior crown was won in thrilling fashion with a 3-16 to 2-18 win over reigning champions Galway in front of a packed 82,000 capacity at Croke Park.   

Captain, Declan Hannon lifting the Liam McCarthy Cup in the Hogan Stand is already an iconic moment for Limerick supporters, and to cap it all we celebrated a homecoming of all homecomings, with thousands of Limerick supporters lining the streets of Limerick until the team eventually reached the Gaelic Grounds where they received a worthy Cead Mile Failte.    

ongratulations to John Kiely, and all the team on their fantastic achievement on bringing home the Liam McCarthy Cup to Limerick.

Roisin Upton

Roisin has previously received our January Senior Sports Star Award in 2017 and Senior Sports Star Award in August 2018. We are fortunate to have Roisin in our midst, such a talented player and ambassador for Ladies Sport.  Roisin was part of the Irish Ladies Hockey team that against all odds reached the Ladies Hockey World Cup final in London.

Ireland, who began the competition as the second lowest ranked team displayed enormous skill and mental strength to historically lead Ireland for the first time into the Hockey World Cup Finals.  Roisin played an enormous role in reaching the World Cup Final by not only scoring in a penalty shoot-out against India but also against Spain before losing out to the Dutch in the final.

Roisin is currently back in Limerick playing hockey with the Catholic Institute, and just back from a tournament in Spain. Roisin will join the Irish team to play Britain in March. We wish Roisin the very best of luck in the FIH Series on in June as Ireland will need a top two finish to guarantee advancing to an Olympic qualifying tie.

Ciara Neville

One of Limerick's finest athletes Ciara Neville played a starring role in the Ireland women’s 4x100m relay team, that won an historic silver medal at the World U20 Championships in Tampere, Finland.

The Ireland quarter of Emerald AC, athlete Ciara Neville, Molly Scott, Gina Akpe Moses and Patience Jumbo Gula ran a new national record time of 43.90 to claim second place behind Germany who won the final in 43.82.

It was just the fourth time that Ireland has won a medal at the World U20 Championships in the 32-year history of the event.

Ciara has been selected for the Irish team which competes at the European Indoor Athletics Championships in Glasgow from March 1st to 3rd. We wish Ciara continued success at the championships and look forward to following her athletic accolades during 2019. Congratulations Ciara.