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Tyrone's young guns shine

By John Campbell

The Sam Maguire Cup may have eluded Ulster's grasp this year but the rude health which football currently enjoys in the province was highlighted at the annual Quinn Products Ulster GAA Writers Association awards banquet.

The All-Ireland winning Tyrone U21 side carried off the Team of The Year accolade while Slaughtneil's feat in winning back-to-back Derry titles in tandem with an Ulster Club crown deservedly earned them the Club of The Year prize.

Writers Association chairman John Martin, in expressing the hope that Ulster can now go from strength to strength, underlined the ongoing authority of Monaghan and the resurgence of Fermanagh.

"The hope is that in 2016 Ulster can go on to greater things. The potential is there and there is clearly a strong sense of ambition to bring more silverware here," declared Martin.

Monaghan landed a double coup when their skipper Conor McManus lifted the Footballer of the Year honour and manager Malachy O'Rourke emerged as Personality of the Year at the event in the Great Northern Hotel, Bundoran. Tyrone's Damien Casey proved a hugely popular choice as Hurler of the Year having led his team to promotion.

Mark Bradley, who made a stunning impact following his introduction to the Tyrone senior team, scooped the Young Achiever award while Karen Kielt and Geraldine McLaughlin won the camogie and ladies football awards respectively.

Ulster GAA Writers' Association Annual Award Winners: Football - Conor McManus; Hurling - Damien Casey; Camogie - Karen Kielt; Ladies Football - Geraldine McLaughlin; Handball - Aishling Reilly; Communications - Pauric McGurn; Services to GAA - Jack Hennigan; Personality - Malachy O'Rourke; Club of the Year - Slaughtneil; Young Achiever - Mark Bradley; Team of the Year - Tyrone U21's; Culture Award - Scotstown.

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