Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 30 August 2014

Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards: Teams want your vote

Awards nights by their very nature are normally dominated by individual excellence but collective greatness is never overlooked in the Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards, sponsored by Magners.

The Team of the Year prize is one award that is always keenly contested and 2009 will be no exception with a host of teams from across Ulster having staked their claim for for the gong.

Of course, those in the running will be entirely up to you, the reader, so tell us who you think is worthy of honours at the Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards, which are also supported by Sport Northern Ireland, using the details below.

And just to give you a helping hand, here is a run-down of just some of the Ulster-based teams who have excelled during this year.

Starting with rugby and a team that celebrated an abundance of silverware this year — Ballynahinch RFC. The Co Down men were picking up trophies on an almost weekly basis at the end of last season and secured glory at both Ulster and All-Ireland level.

In the most successful campaign in their 55-year history Derek Suffern’s men won the Ulster Senior League and Ulster Senior Cup.

But it was on the All-Ireland front that Hinch really came into their own as they gained promotion to AIB Division One and capped off a terrific season by beating red-hot favourites Cork Constitution 17-6 at Dubarry Park to claim the AIB Cup.

Staying with the oval ball and Methodist College, Belfast increased their stranglehold on the Northern Bank Schools Cup by defeating RBAI in a one-sided Ravenhill final.

In GAA, Armagh Minors were taking all the plaudits from an Ulster perspective.

The Orchard County won the All Ireland minor title for the first time in 60 years when they edged past Mayo in the Croke Park decider in September.

Meanwhile, as the Antrim senior football side showed tremendous progress in reaching the Ulster final only to lose out to Tyrone, it was the Ladies’ side who were collecting silverware for the Saffrons. They saw off Limerick in an exciting All Ireland Ladies Junior final at HQ and will now take their place in Intermediate competition.

In football, the increasingly competitive local game meant that the trophies were shared around with Glentoran taking the IFA Premier League title, Crusaders winning the JJB Sports Irish Cup and Portadown, despite having to spend a year in intermediate football, beat Newry City to claim the Co-Operative Insurance Cup.

Instonians were local cricket’s big success story as they bridged a 45-year gap without a trophy to win the NCU Challenge Cup and share the Premier Division title.

There were also notable success for Balmoral Golf Club as they won the Fred Daly Cup and lost out in the semi-final of the All-Ireland version while the Northern Ireland U-21 netball team performed well at the World Youth Championships, held in the Cook Islands , losing in the semi-finals.

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