No easy task. It’s been a particularly special year for Ulster Club Camogie, and our task is to whittle it all down and name a Camogie Player of the Year award at our All-Star ceremony on March 10.
Loughgiel banished the ghosts of yesteryear by claiming a magical victory over Sleacht Néill in the Ulster Senior final. They didn’t stop there, reaching the All-Ireland final, and they have a host of contenders for one of the big individual awards on the night. Róisín McCormick was the score-getter-in-chief, earning plaudits across the land for her performance in the All-Ireland final. Caitrin Dobbin was also a dynamo in attack while midfield duo Amy Boyle and Lucia McNaughton were a formidable pairing indeed, and Shauna Doran excelled in defence.
Then there’s Clonduff, Brídíní Óga and Lacken all of whom came up trumps in their respective All-Ireland finals. Clonduff won their second All-Ireland Intermediate final in four years and they had a number of brilliant performers. Former Gaelic Life All-Stars like Paula O’Hagan, Sara Louise Graffin and Fionnuala Carr need no introduction at this stage, while teenager Katie Morgan belied her youth with some brilliant outings at wing-back. Captain Jenna Boden was also fantastic.
Brídíní Óga also had a season that will never be forgotten around Glenravel. They won their first ever All-Ireland Junior title, and among the contenders for the player of the name award will be star talents like Sarah Fyfe, Laoise McKenna and goalkeeper Orla Donnelly.
In terms of previous winners, taking home the award 12 months ago was Sleacht Néill star Aoife Ni Chaiside. Stretch back further, and the individual award went to teammates like Louise Dougan, Shannon Graham and Tina Bradley. This time around, it could be different with Loughgiel and Clonduff and co having the big years in Ulster camogie, albeit Tina Bradley still made our team of the year after a battling performance in their provincial final defeat to Loughgiel.
So that’s the task facing the Gaelic Life team. There are many brilliant camogie players in the province, and any of the aforementioned names would be worthy winners on the night. There’s some excellent contenders in every sector of the pitch, but there can only be one!