Local rugby stars make UBL Awards shortlist

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Alan Tynan, Young Munster and Ireland U/20 Out half who has been nominated for the Rising Star Award

THE ULSTER Bank League Awards make a welcome return to the Aviva Stadium for its fifth year on May 25th celebrating the best of club rugby in Ireland at the annual showcase event.

Recognising the dedication and commitment shown across all divisions, the Ulster Bank League Awards celebrate the players, coaches and teams who continually strive to be the best in club rugby.

This year will also see the introduction of a new category, ‘Club Volunteer of the Year’. The award will identify the individuals who work tirelessly in the background at their club and these nominees are put forward by their own club representatives.  Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt will be in attendance again to present the awards to the winners.

It’s been a memorable season for Cork Constitution having finished with a double trophy haul lifting the Bateman Cup, their fifth in succession, followed by victory over Clontarf, in the Division 1A final, gaining a measure of revenge by overturning the previous seasons result.

Since their introduction in the 2012/13 season the Ulster Bank League Awards have become a recognised event on the Irish rugby calendar providing a unique platform from which to honour the rising stars of the game. The already high standard of the grassroots game showcased throughout the Ulster Bank League season continues to grow in Ireland and provides a pivotal platform for future professionals.

Following a man-of-match performance in the 2016 Division 1A Final, as Clontarf defeated rivals Cork Constitution’s, Joey Carbery topped off the perfect season by taking home the Ulster Bank Division 1A Rising Star of the Year Award and has since gone on to put in stellar performances for Leinster in his 22 appearances while also catching the eye of Ireland coach Joe Schmidt and earning 3 international caps.

Once again, the Provincial Player of the Year awards will be chosen by public vote with the shortlist nominated by our expert judging panel of pundits Damien O’Meara (RTE Sport), Donn O’Sullivan (Limerick Post) and Richard Mulligan (The Newsletter).
Division 1A and Bateman Cup double winners Cork Constitution lead the way with seven nominations with Tómas Quinlan picking up three of the six while Clontarf’s Matt D’Arcy is nominated for two individual awards after a fine season.
Awards will be presented in the following categories:
1. Ulster Bank Player of the Year – Division 1A
2. Ulster Bank Top Try Scorer – Division 1A
3. Ulster Bank Top Points Scorer – Division 1A
4. Ulster Bank Rising Star of the Year Award – Division 1A
5. Ulster Bank Coach of the Year – Division 1A
6. Ulster Bank Player of the Year – Division 1B
7. Ulster Bank Player of the Year – Division 2A
8. Ulster Bank Player of the Year – Division 2B
9. Ulster Bank Player of the Year – Division 2C
10. Ulster Bank Club PRO (Public Relations Officer) of the Year
11. Ulster Bank Club Volunteer of the Year
12. Ulster Bank Provincial Player of the Year – voted by the public through Ulster Bank Rugby Social Media

Speaking in advance of the Ulster Bank League awards, Maeve McMahon, Ulster Bank Director of Customer Experience and Product commented: “It has been a fantastic season of club rugby in the Ulster Bank league which culminated in a thrilling game between last year’s Division 1A finalists Clontarf and Cork Constitution. The final was a superb showcase of our grassroots rugby in Ireland and a sign of how the game is improving all the time at club level.

The Ulster Bank League awards are a wonderful celebration of the efforts and dedication of everyone involved in club rugby across all divisions and at Ulster Bank we are proud to continue and support these great players, coaches and volunteers who continue to make the game and the league a significant component of the sporting calendar.”

The Ulster Bank League Awards will be held at the Aviva Stadium on Thursday 25th May. For more information see to www.facebook.com/ulsterbankrugby.
2016/17 ULSTER BANK LEAGUE AWARDS SHORTLIST NOMINATIONS:

Ulster Bank League Division 1A Player of the Year
·         Eamon Mills (Lansdowne)
·         Matt D’Arcy (Clontarf)
·         Niall Kenneally (Cork Constitution)
·         Tomás Quinlan (Cork Constitution)

Ulster Bank League Division 1A Rising Star Award
·         Alan Tynan (Young Munster)
·         Jack Kelly (Dublin University)
·         Jordan Larmour (St. Mary’s College)
·         Tomás Quinlan (Cork Constitution)

Ulster Bank League Division 1A Coach of the Year
·         Andy Wood (Clontarf)
·         Brian Hickey (Cork Constitution)
·         Mike Ruddock (Lansdowne)
·         Tony Smeed (Dublin University)

Ulster Bank League Division 1B Player of the Year
·         Harry Fleming (U.L. Bohemian)
·         John Sutton (Buccaneers)
·         Jordan Conroy (Buccaneers)
·         William O’Brien (Naas)

Ulster Bank League Division 2A Player of the Year
·         Clayton Stewart (Nenagh Ormond)
·         Dave Cave (Malone)
·         Fintan O’Sullivan (Highfield)
·         Stephen Irvine (Banbridge)

Ulster Bank League Division 2B Player of the Year
·         Ali Burch (Armagh)
·         Harvey Young (Armagh)
·         Jack Keating (Greystones)
·         John Campbell (Greystones)

Ulster Bank League Division 2C Player of the Year
·         Brian Haugh (Navan)
·         Kuba Wojtkowicz (Sligo)
·         Riaan van der Vyver (Navan)
·         Tommy O’Hagan (Rainey OB)

Ulster Bank Provincial Player of the Year – Across all UBL divisions (Public Vote)
Munster Nominees
·         Colm Skehan (Young Munster)
·         Luke Cahill (Cork Constitution)
·         Niall Kenneally (Cork Constitution)
·         Tomás Quinlan (Cork Constitution)

Leinster Nominees
·         Billy Dardis (UCD)
·         Eamon Mills (Lansdowne)
·         Matt D’Arcy (Clontarf)
·         Tony Ryan (Clontarf)

Ulster Nominees
·         Adam Ervine (Banbridge)
·         Joe Dunleavy (City of Derry)
·         Neil Falloon (Armagh)
·         Stephen Irvine (Banbridge)

Connacht Nominees
·         Alan Gaughan (Buccaneers)
·         Jordan Conroy (Buccaneers)
·         Kuba Wojtkowicz (Sligo)
·         Lise Soloa (Galway Corinthians RFC)