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Final five listed for the 2019 Aisling Sports Award

Gerard Mulhern from the Andersonstown News and Brian Graham from Sean Graham bookmakers launch the Aisling Sports Award Gerard Mulhern from the Andersonstown News and Brian Graham from Sean Graham bookmakers launch the Aisling Sports Award
By Staff Reporter

ON Friday, November 29 at the Europa Hotel, the Belfast Media Group will crown the winner of the 2019 Sean Graham Aisling Award for Outstanding Sporting Endeavour. But, as always, the final decision is down to you.
Once again, it was been a quite incredible sporting year for the city.

Given the strength of sporting achievement across the board this year, whittling down to five has proven a difficult task, but after much deliberation, the selection committee finally agreed on this year’s shortlist.
So, we can now reveal the 2019 Sean Graham Aisling Award for Outstanding Sporting Endeavour will be contested by Naomh Éanna GAC, St Paul’s Ladies footballers, Belfast Trojans, Aquinas FC and St Oliver Plunkett FC.
What an incredible 12 months it has been for Glengormley club, Naomh Éanna.

At the time of last year’s Aisling Awards, the club’s Gaelic footballers were just embarking on a run in the Ulster Intermediate Championship that saw them go on and collect the trophy before reaching the All-Ireland final thanks to a semi-final win over Galway’s An Spidéal.

Kerry champions Kilcummin proved a bridge too in the decider, but the Hightown Road team’s run to the final breathed new life into a club that is rapidly on the rise.

Not to be outdone, the Naomh Éanna hurlers picked up the baton and also broke new ground this year, winning Division Two and will play top-flight hurling for the first time in their history in 2020, while they also won the Antrim Intermediate title for the first time and are presently on the cusp of an Ulster title having defeated Banagher and Bredagh in recent weeks.

While Naomh Éanna have been breaking new ground, the success for the St Paul’s ladies has continued apace and this year they have made it an incredible eight county title in-a-row.

The Shaws Road outfit overcame St Gall’s in the decider having yet again romped through the competition.
On the provincial stage, St Paul’s swatted aside the challenge of Gowna and Kilcoo to reach the Intermediate final last weekend where they overcame Fermanagh’s Kinawley who many of their players would be familiar with having enjoyed a huge representation on the Antrim county team.

Another club that enjoyed further success was the Belfast Trojans American Football team who won their fifth Shamrock Bowl.

Having been away from the national title for several years, the Belfast outfit were back with a bang this year as they navigated the regular season and then capped it all off with a hugely impressive 24-10 victory over South Dublin at Energia Park with Tom Morris taking the opening kick-off all the way for a touchdown and built on this to claim their first title since 2015.

The year has been one of golden anniversaries and magical moments for a couple of soccer clubs with Aquinas marking their 50th year in existence with promotion to 1B of the Northern Amateur Football League for the first time in the club’s history.

The South Belfast team did it in style as they also won Division 1C in emphatic fashion before enjoying a positive start to life in Division 1B.

The club’s reserves were not to be outdone as they landed the Division 3C title to ensure their 50-year gala at City Hall had plenty of silverware to add sparkle to the occasion.

St Oliver Plunkett FC are also celebrating their 50th birthday and they too have enjoyed a glorious year with the Lenadoon club’s men and women both providing some magical moments.

The senior men went through their league campaign unbeaten as they claimed the 2A title and secured Intermediate football for the first time in their history, while the senior women did likewise, going through their season unbeaten on their way to the NIWFA Division Three title.

Success came at underage with the U18s winning the national League, while they also made strides off the pitch with funding secured to improve their facility at Lenadoon Park.

As always, the public will decide who will be crowned the Sean Graham Aisling Award for Outstanding Sporting Endeavour winners at the Aisling Awards banquet on November 29.

Voting is live online at belfastmediagroup.com/aisling-sports-nominees-2019/ and you can vote once every 24 hours from your household/work IP address. Online votes count as one.

You can also vote via this paper and those paper votes will count as three.

Time to get voting…

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