Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 25 December 2014

In Pictures: Ulster Rugby Awards Dinner

Kyle McCall, John Afoa, Chris Henry and Paddy Jackson at the Heineken Ulster Rugby Awards Dinner.
Kyle McCall, John Afoa, Chris Henry and Paddy Jackson at the Heineken Ulster Rugby Awards Dinner.
Thursday 10th May - Pedrie Wannenburg is presented with the URSC Player of the Season Award by Jack Kyle representing the URSC.Photo Credit - John Dickson / DICKSONDIGITAL
Thursday 10th May - Gary Quantrill President of Malone RFC is presented with the Kukri Club of the Year Award by Terry Jackson representing the Kukri Ireland.Photo Credit - John Dickson / DICKSONDIGITAL
Thursday 10th May - Ulster Schools Chairman John Wilson is presented with the Dorrington B Faulkner Award by Phillip Parker representing the Perennials RFC.Photo Credit - John Dickson / DICKSONDIGITAL
Thursday 10th May - Paul Marshall is presented with the Belfast Telegraph Most Improved Ulster Player of the Year Award by Niall Croizer representing the Belfast Telegraph.Photo Credit - John Dickson / DICKSONDIGITAL
Heather Jackson and Mark O'Brien at the Heineken Ulster Rugby Awards Dinner.
Johann Muller and Stefan Terblanche at the Heineken Ulster Rugby Awards Dinner.
Stephen Ferris Sarah Sherry and Rory Best at the Heineken Ulster Rugby Awards Dinner.
Ruan Pienaar, Shane Logan, Johann Muller and Stefan Terblanche at the Heineken Ulster Rugby Awards Dinner.
Niall Annett and Craig Gilroy at the Heineken Ulster Rugby Awards Dinner.
Simon Danielli and Ian Humphreys at the Heineken Ulster Rugby Awards Dinner.
Tracy Magowan with Stephen Ferris at the Heineken Ulster Rugby Awards Dinner.
Malone men Jim Stokes, Chris Henry, Gary Quantrill, Josh Pentland and Philip Coulter at the Heineken Ulster Rugby Awards Dinner.
Thursday 10th May - Chris Farrell is presented with the Phoenix Gas Ulster Academy Player of the Year Award by Peter Dixon representing Phoenix Gas.Photo Credit - John Dickson / DICKSONDIGITAL
John Best and Sam Moore at the Heineken Ulster Rugby Awards Dinner.
Chris Farrell, Iain Henderson and Kyle McCall at the Heineken Ulster Rugby Awards Dinner.
Thursday 10th May - Ulster hooker Nigel Brady is presented with his 100th cap by Laurence Caldwell President of the Ulster Branch IRFU.Photo Credit - John Dickson / DICKSONDIGITAL
Thursday 10th May - Russell Blair from Ballymoney RFC is presented with the Calor Gas Ulster Youth Player of the Year award by Richard Alexander from Calor Gas.Photo Credit - John Dickson / DICKSONDIGITAL
The Award winners at the Heineken Ulster Rugby Awards, Craig Gilroy, Pedrie Wannenburg, John Wilson, Chris Farrell, Stephen Ferris, Russell Blair, James Harrison, Paul Marshall, Chris Henry, Richard Lutton and Gary Quantrill.
Thursday 10th May - Craig Gilroy is presented with the Vodafone Young Ulster Player of the Year Award by Pauline Quigley representing Vodafone.Photo Credit - John Dickson / DICKSONDIGITAL
Thursday 10th May - Chris Henry is presented with the Bank of Ireland Ulster Player of the Year Award by Pat Byrne representing the Bank of Ireland.Photo Credit - John Dickson / DICKSONDIGITAL
Thursday 10th May - Richard Lutton from Belfast Harlequins is presented with the Ken Goodall Outstanding Club Player of the Year Award by Niall Birtwhistle representing the City of Derry RFCPhoto Credit - John Dickson / DICKSONDIGITAL
Thursday 10th May - Stephen Ferris is presented with the Heineken Ulster Rugby Personality of the Year Award by Leza Nulty representing Heineken.Photo Credit - John Dickson / DICKSONDIGITAL
John Moore, Jim Neilly and Dr Jack Kyle at the Heineken Ulster Rugby Awards Dinner.
City of Derry men Marshall Kilgore and Niall Birtwhistle at the Heineken Ulster Rugby Awards Dinner.
Mark Neilly, Declan Fitzpatrick and Paddy McAllister at the Heineken Ulster Rugby Awards Dinner.
David Humphreys, Gavin Monteith and Jonathan Peak at the Heineken Ulster Rugby Awards Dinner.
Thursday 10th May - James Harrison (MCB) is presented with the Ulster Branch Schools player of the Year Award by Laurence Caldwell President of the Ulster Branch IRFU.Photo Credit - John Dickson / DICKSONDIGITAL
Eric Morrow, Suzanne Begley, Seinna McDonald and Leza Nulty representing Heineken at the Heineken Ulster Rugby Awards Dinner.

The great and the good of Ulster Rugby were at Belfast's Culloden Hote for the Heineken Ulster Rugby Awards Dinner.

Stephen Ferris - the Ireland and Lions flanker - received a standing ovation from the 300-plus guests in recognition of a remarkable comeback from injury which, a year ago, had threatened to end his career.

Against all the odds, Ferris returned from yet more knee surgery and having only just managed to win his race to be ready for last autumn’s World Cup, he starred for Ireland in New Zealand.

And he has shone in the white of Ulster, too, witness three man of the match performances to date in his province’s march to the Heineken Cup final date with Leinster at Twickenham on May 19.

Remarkably, Ferris appears to have emerged even faster, fitter and stronger than before.

It was a great night for Ulster’s first-choice back-row trio, with Pedrie Wannenburg and Chris Henry winning the other two big prizes.

Wannenburg, scooped the prestigious Ulster Ruby Supporters’ Club Player of the Season award — a fitting farewell gift for the outstanding South African whose last appearance in the white jersey will be at Twickenham next weekend. He received a magnificent trophy designed by local artist and URSC member Bob Sloan, and a Frederique Constant watch supplied by McNeilly’s Jewellers.

Henry was a hugely popular winner of the Bank of Ireland Ulster Player of the Year Award in recognition of his consistently good and wholly reliable performances at openside.

Ulster wing sensation, Craig Gilroy, is the Vodafone Young Ulster Player of the Year, with his sensational Heineken Cup quarter-final try against Munster at Thomond Park having helped him hand off co-challengers Paddy Jackson and Iain Henderson.

Ballymoney RFC’s Ulster Youth second row star, Russell Blair, walked off with the Calor Gas Ulster Youth Player of the Year accolade.

Another youth-level winner was Methodist College prop James Harrison who was named the Ulster Schools’ Player of the Year.

And teenage centre Chris Farrell — who faced Leinster and Munster in the PRO12 — won the Phoenix Gas Ulster Academy Player of the Year Award.

Malone are the Club of the Year — the reward for their results through the ranks.

Paul Marshall is the Belfast Telegraph Most Improved Ulster Player of the Year, while John Wilson — chair of the Ulster Schools’ Committee — lifted the Perennials-sponsored Dorrington B Faulkner Award.

And Belfast Harlequins’ Richard Lutton took the Ken Goodall Award for Outstanding Club Player of the Year.

Calor Gas Youth Player of the Year — Russell Blair |(Ballymoney RFC)

Ulster Branch Schools’ Player of the Year — James Harrison (Methodist College)

Phoenix Gas Academy Player of the Year — Chris Farrell

UPSC Player of the Season |(as voted by URSC members) — Pedrie Wannenburg

Belfast Telegraph Most |Improved Ulster Player of the Year — Paul Marshall

Kukri Club of the Year — |Malone RFC

Perennials’ Dorrington B. |Faulkner ‘Unsung Hero’ - John Wilson

Bank of Ireland Ulster Player of the Year — Chris Henry

Ken Goodall Award for the |Outstanding Club Player of the Year — Richard Lutton (Belfast Harlequins RFC)

Vodafone Young Ulster Player of the Year — Craig Gilroy

Heineken Ulster Rugby |Personality of the Year — Stephen Ferris

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