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Stockdale wins BBC NI accolade after try-laden record-breaking year

By Adam McKendry

Ulster winger Jacob Stockdale has been named as the 2018 BBC Sport NI Personality of the Year after a stunning year for both club and country.

Having made a huge impact with his province, 2018 was the year when Stockdale made a significant mark on the international scene after breaking into the national set-up.

The 22-year-old scored a record-breaking seven tries during the Six Nations and was named Player of the Tournament, leading Ireland to their third Grand Slam in emphatic fashion.

He then toured Australia with the squad, again helping Ireland to their first series win over a southern hemisphere side in 39 years with victory over the Wallabies in Sydney in the final Test to win 2-1.

And, of course, who could forget that jaw-dropping score against the All Blacks in Dublin for a memorable 16-9 win, their first at home over the world champions.

Stockdale edged out four-time World Superbike champion and 2017 winner Jonathan Rea, and Ireland women's hockey hero Ayesha McFerran to the main award after another 12 months to savour in local sport.

Jane Tohill, executive producer at BBC Sport NI, said: "In another exceptional year for Northern Ireland sport, the quality of the sportsmen and women in contention was of the highest standard, but the panel felt that the historic nature of Jacob's remarkable exploits in 2018 set him aside. He is a worthy winner of the award."

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