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Player of the Year winner: Ryan Farquhar

Published 18/01/2013

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 14th January 2013 - Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards at the Ramada Hotel4.Player of the Year - Ryan Farquhar Ryan Farquhar receives his award from Wendy Houvenaghel Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 14th January 2013 - Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards at the Ramada Hotel4.Player of the Year - Ryan Farquhar Ryan Farquhar receives his award from Wendy Houvenaghel Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Ballyclare High School
Cheryl Mulholland and swimmer Bethany Firth
Paddy Barnes, Michael Conlon, Stephen Martin, Jenny Campbell, Jimmy Kirkwood, Rebekah Chambers and Gillian Chambers.
Mairead McCotter and Liam Watson from Loughgiel Shamrocks
Craig Peacock, Mark Brooks , Gemma Bell and Matt Towe
Laura McBurney and Michael McKillop
Brian Henning, Chairman, Sport Northern Ireland, Sycerika McMahon and Pat Jennings
Michael ONeill and Pat Jennings
Player of the Year - Ryan Farquhar. Ryan Farquhar receives his award from Wendy Houvenaghel
Gary McClintock, Wayne McBrien, Joe Robinson and William McClintock from Donnemanna Cricket Club
Michael O'Neill and Jim Shaw
Players from St Oliver Plunketts
Gerry Armstrong with his family at the awards
Gerry Armstrong with his wife Debby
Tommy Bowe, Johann Muller and Paddy McAllister
Paddy Barnes and Mari Burns
Craig Gilroy and Mark Anscombe
Darren Brown, Paddy Barnes and Tom Cunningham
Johnny Campbell, Liam Watson, Barney McAuley and Neil McGarry from Loughgiel Shamrocks
Gillian Hetherington, Jim Gracey, Ruth Gorman and Ailish Rutherford
Trevor Ringland, Jane Wells and Keith Crossan
Allan Ewart, Wendy Houvenaghel and James Tinsley
Bethany Firth
Gerry Armstrong
Janice McGeagh, Sarah Weir, Ruth Gorman and Wendy Houvenaghel
Anca Bejenaru and Claudia Ionescu
Newenham de Cogan, Hazel Busby and Leslie Busby
Brendan Gallagher, Rosaleen Gallagher, Catherine Maguire and John Maguire
John Palmer, Yvonne Craig, Margaret Tollerton and Ivan Davis from Lisburn City Council
Steve Beacom, Pat Murray and Declan Bogue
Joanne Armstrong, Gerry Armstrong Snr and Rosaleen Murray.
Mark Brown and Yvonne McKernan
Steve Beacom and Richard McCormick
James Tinsley, Pamela Ballantine, Margaret Tollerton, Ivan Davis, Yvonne Craig and Allan Ewart
Brian Henning, Chairman, Sport Northern Ireland
Local Heroes Award: Fiona Haldane. Fiona Haldane receives her award from Nick Harkness, Sport Northern Ireland
Sports Person with a Disability: Jason Smyth and Michael McKillop. Jason Smyth's grandfather, Robert Smyth, left, and Michael McKillop receives their award from John Spottiswoode, MD Disability Needs Ltd
Team of the Year: Ulster Rugby.
Team of the Year: Ulster Rugby Ulster Coach Mark Anscombe and Captain Johann Muller receives their award from Michael Gibson
Young Team of the Year: St Oliver Plunkett FC U16. Coach Stephen Lynch, Captain Josh Lynch and other team members from St Oliver Plunkett FC U16 receives their award from Alistair Gillespie, Linwoods
Hall of Fame  - Gerry Armstrong. Gerry Armstrong receives his award from Pat Jennings, Billy Hamilton and John Maguire, Group Managing Director of Belleek
Sports Star of the Year - Rory McIlroy. Eddie Harper receives the award on behalf of Rory McIlroy from Mike Gilson (Editor Belfast Telegraph) Brian Henning, Chairman of Sport NI and David Lawlor of Linwoods.
Manager/Coach of the Year: Coach P J O' Mullan from Loughgiel receives his award from Phil Simmons
George Best Breakthrough Award - Michael Conlon. Michael Conlon receives his award from Michael ONeill
Paddy McAallister, David Lawlor and Tommy Bowe
Michael Conlon, Steven Murphy from Tesco and Paddy Barnes
Neil Brittain, Pamela Ballantine, Claire McCollum and Steven Johnston
Bethany Firth and Andrew Bree
Tiffany Brien
Alastair Gillespie, Claire, David McMahon
Mark Beattie, Donna McGuinness, Ruth McQuillan and Andrew Bree from Swim Ulster
Rory Winters, Mark Gribben and James Harrison from Methody
Lauren Curley, Jessica West and Tori Wallace from Ballyclare High School.
Jackie Fullerton and Claire McCollum
Sycerika McMahon and mum Mary McMahon
lMike Gilson
Janice McGeagh, Wendy Houvenaghel and Todd Kelman

Prior to announcing his retirement from motorbike racing in September 2012, the brilliant Ryan Farquhar once again had a stunning season, winning national and international road races all over Ireland, the Isle of Man and Scarborough.

The 36-year old Killyman rider got his season off to a flyer at the Spring Cup at Olivers Mount, Scarborough in April speeding to five victories.

In a hectic period Farquhar sizzled during the Cookstown 100 where, despite one of the best national road race entries of the season, he took four chequered flags, two lap records and was named Man of the Meeting.

Another three victories came a week later at the Tandragee 100 before heading to the North Coast and the International North West 200 where Farquhar had one of his proudest days, not only winning the inaugural supertwins race but as a team owner he had a clean sweep of the podium as team mates for the day Jeremy McWilliams and Michael Rutter followed their team boss home.

The Isle of Man TT came next and again Farquhar won the supertwin class alongside podiums in the second supersport and superstock races.

Back home for the Mid Antrim 150, Farquhar had five wins from five starts on a greasy, slippery track at Clough a feat he repeated a week later at his home meeting at Bush, near Dungannon.

A busy July saw another 12 victories at Skerries, Scarborough’s Cock o’the North meeting, the Southern 100 and Armoy.

Ulster Grand Prix Bike Week turned out to be Farquhar’s last home meeting and he signed off with two victories before heading to the Manx Grand Prix where the elation of winning the Classic 500cc Manx turned to tragedy in the afternoon when his uncle, Trevor Ferguson, lost his life following a crash in the Lightweight Manx Grand Prix ironically riding a Kawasaki belonging to Ryan.

Shortly afterwards Ryan announced his retirement from the sport after a record 199 Irish road race wins and Duke Road Race Rankings champion for a record seventh time in 11 years.

He continues in 2013 as a team owner but will be remembered as one of the most successful, dedicated and respected competitors, who lived and breathed road racing.

Nominee - Liam Watson

The Antrim hurler performed heroically for his club Loughgiel Shamrocks in their All-Ireland Senior club hurling championship victory over Coolderry.

The Shamrocks scored four goals and 13 points in that success with Liam hitting a remarkable three goals and seven points.

That's a bewildering tally illustrating just how unstoppable Watson was at Croke Park on St Patrick's Day.

Rarely has one player had such an incredible impact in a final and this after Watson had delivered the goods with an exemplary display of free taking in the All-Ireland semi-final.

Nominee - Alan Dunbar

Northern Ireland golfers continue to shine with Alan Dunbar another outstanding talent to come off the conveyor belt.

In 2012 Alan did something than not even Rory McIlroy or Graeme McDowell, from his own Rathmore Club in Portrush, have achieved when he won the British Amateur Championship. Previously only two other Ulstermen (Garth McGimpsey 1985 and Michael Hoey 2001) had won the tournament which started out with a field of 288 hopefuls.

Dunbar, displaying the class which should see him succeed in the professional ranks, came through to win the final against Austrian Matthias Schwab taking the last two holes to lift the trophy at Royal Troon.

Nominee - Chris Henry

The Ulster rugby star is one of the most exciting players in Ireland producing numerous inspiring performances in the white shirt over the last 12 months.

Capable of playing any position in the back row Henry was a key figure as Ulster made it through to the Heineken Cup final last season.

This season he has kicked on and looks even stronger. In the absence of the injured Johann Muller, Chris has taken over as captain doing a fantastic job during Ulster's terrific start to the campaign.

For Ireland too he has established himself and will surely be an important player in the green shirt in 2013.

Belfast Telegraph

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