FANTASTIC FEBRUARY – DONEGAL SPORTS STAR AWARDS REVIEW

first_imgThe county’s sporting stars produced a number of outstanding successes during the month of February that will surely bring onto the radar of the Donegal Sports Star Awards Committee come the end of the year.Reigning awards winners athlete Mark English and badminton star Chloe Magee were in fantastic form while boxer Michael Gallagher medaled at an international competition in Russia and there were world Tug-o-War titles for Clonmany.It was also a good month for martial arts with Samantha Weir, Sarah Jane Porter and Michael McCay among the individuals to excel there was also a national title for the Donegal darts team. It was a stunning start to the month for Donegal Sports Star Award winner Letterkenny athlete Mark English who, running with UCD, set a new indoor 800m record at the AAI Open Games in Athlone in a time of 1.46.82. Just four days later English produced another world class performance to win the 800m B race in the Stockholm International Grand Prix with a superb time of 1.47:69. And Mark rounded off a marvelous week by being named the Irish Independent Sports Star of the Week.There was also a good start to February for Milford man Brendan Boyce who was in great form coming home second the 3km walk at the AAI Open Games in Athlone. And Boyce also won a bronze medal at the National Indoor Athletics Championships in Athlone in the middle of the month. At the same championships Letterkenny AC’s Danny Mooney won a silver medal.There was also success for Tir Chonaill A.C. and UCD student Karl Griffin who won a silver medal at the National Indoor Athletics Championships in Athlone. Karl went onto to have a great victory over Irish 800m champion Niall Tuohy, (U.L/Ferybank A.C.) in a time of 1:50:47 at the Athlone International Stadium. Finn Valley ABC boxer Michael Gallagher won a bronze medal after defeating a Russian opponent in the semi-finals of a Multi-Nations tournament in Russa. However the 17-year-old Heavyweight failed in his bid to reach the final losing to another Russian opponent.At the start of February there was great success for Chloe and Sam Magee at the Irish Championship Finals in Dublin. Chloe won her eighth successive singles title defeating her niece Irish U-17 international Rachel Darragh in the decider at Baldoyle. She also won her seventh mixed title in the company of her brother Sam. Already there is a host of names in the frame here for nominations for the 2014 Donegal Sports Star Awards.Finn Valley athlete Sommer Lecky competed in the Scottish championships in Glasgow doing two P.B’s a 5-09 long jump for silver and a 1-63 m high jump to win the title. On the last Sunday of the month there was a hugely successful day for the Finn Valley Athletic Club at the Cross-County Championships in Dunboyne with the Intermediate Men’s team taking the national title for the fifth time while there was also gold for the Masters Women O-35s and O-50s.Gerald Gallagher finished third overall and the rest of the team was James Speight, Mark Hoy and Colin Watso. The four along with Kilmacrennan native Eoghan McGinley (Rathfarnham AC) and Dermot Brennan (Finn Valley) helped Donegal to the Inter-County title. Donna Evans, Kay Byrne, Catriona McGrenaghan and Catherine Dooher won the O-35 section. Byrne also won the O-50 category and the victorious FV team also included Nancy McNamee, Mary Bond, Noreen Bonner and Maire Therese Speight. There was further success for the county in Dunboyne as the Cranford U-17 girls and the Finn Valley U-15 boys also won team golds.The Donegal Darts team were crowned All-Ireland champions after thrashing Dublin 7-2 in the final. The squad included the 2013 Donegal Sports Star Darts Award winner Charlie Grant along with John Flood, Derek Quinn, Ger Porter, John Murray, Sean Wilson, Paddy Boyce, Mike Nulty, Clive Aiken, Martin McCloskey, Barry McBride, Junior Coyle, Paul Leech, Michael Leech, Francie Begley, PJ McLaughlin, Anthony Whoriskey and Noel O’Donnell.The awards kept rolling in for Jason Quigley as not surprisingly he was named ‘Boxer of the Year’ at the annual Donegal Boxing Board Awards in the Abbey Hotel. In the first two Sundays of February Donegal got off to the right start in their Division 2 league campaign as goals from Odhran MacNiallais and Colm Anthony McFadden helped Jim McGuinness’s side to a 2-19 to 1-9 win over Laois in Portlaoise. And it was a 1-16 to 0-12 victory over Galway in Salthill with McFadden grabbing the game’s only goal.In sharp contrast it was a disastrous start for the Donegal Senior Ladies who lost their opening three league fixtures of the new season against Laois away in Crettyard (2-18 to 3-05); All-Ireland champions Cork in Castlefin by 3-13 to 2-10 and at the same venue in the middle of the month new manager Maggie Foy saw her side go down to Tyrone on a score of 4-6 to 1-8. In the last week of February after just three league games in charge Foy stepped down from the position.PCC Falcarragh reached the Ulster Bank Arthurs Cup Final after defeating St.Patricks & St.Brigid’s Claudy at Celtic Park in Derry. Michael Langan was the star for PCC scoring 1-8 of his sides 2-9 tally to give the Falcarragh school a point win in the end with Claudy scoring 3-5.Donegal senior team panelist Hugh McFadden from Killybegs along Naomh Conaill players Ronan O’Donnell and Mark Gallagher and Michael Cannon of St. Michael’s were members of the St. Patrick’s Teaching College, Drumcondra team who won the Trench Cup Final in Belfast on Saturday with a 2-16 to 2-8 victory over Letterkenny IT. At the end of the month Donegal senior player Darach O’Connor turned in a man of the match performance as the Inishowen Colleges reached their first ever Ulster final after defeating Patrician College Carrickmacross in the McLarnon Cup in Garvaghey, Tyrone. O’Connor hit a personal tally of 3-6 as the Donegal boys won on a score of 4-10 to 2-13.There was disappointment for Michael Murphy, the McGee brothers and Mark McHugh as Ulster were well beaten by Connacht in the Inter-provincial final in Tuam on a score of 2-19 to 1-7. St Eunan’s College set up an all-Donegal McLarnon Cup final against Colaisti Inis Eoghain thanks to a 4-10 to 0-05 win over St Malachy’s College Belfast’s in Garvaghey, Co Tyrone with the goals coming from David Tyrell, Niall O’Donnell, Daire McDaid and Rory Carr.The Donegal hurlers made it back-to-back victories in Division 3A thanks to a 1-20 to 3-9 win over Longford with Lee Henderson scoring 13 points. The previous week at Fr. Tierney Park Ray Durack’s men had got their league campaign off to a winning start seeing of Fermanagh on a score of 2-19 to 1-13.There was a stunning 26 medal haul for the Samurai Uladh Club at the All-Ireland Judo Championships in Kilkenny. 16-year-old Muff girl Samantha Weir won three golds’ in the U-18, U-20 and Senior Women’s 76kg categories. There was also gold for Sarah Jane Porter who was celebrating her 12th birthday as she claimed the 33kg title. Michael McCay took gold in the 64kg U-18 category.On the seond Sunday in February the reigning 2013 Donegal Sports Star Motorsport Award winners Declan Boyle and Brian Boyle finished first in the Galway International rally in the opening round of the Irish Tarmac Championship to record their first ever international rally success. It was a great day for Donegal as Garry Jennings and Rory Kennedy, also in a Subaru, finished second while the Ford Focus of Frosses man Donagh Kelly claimed third place. Another crew from the county Declan Gallagher and Ryan Moore were the Galway National Rally winners. And there was a third title for Donegal competitors when Paul Creamer and Danny McCloskey took victory in the Galway Junior Rally.In the middle of the month Dungloe pool player Shaun Sharkey was in top form for the Irish team at the European Pool Championships in Malta helping his country to record impressive wins over Belgium, Northern Ireland and Morocco on the first day of the competition. Sharkey also featured as the Irish team defeated France.Despite scoring a try for her country Larissa Muldoon ended up on a losing Irish team in a Six Nations clash with England at Twickenham. Scrum-half Muldoon and her out-half partner Nora Stapleton both started in a game that the visitors lost 17-10 ending their hopes of second successive Six Nations and Grand Slam titles.Joint 2013 Rugby Donegal Sports Stars of the Year Stapleton and Muldoon had helped their country to a 14-6 opening win over Wales in Ashbourne.At the beginning of February the Inishowen Junior League reached the semi-finals of the Oscar Traynor Cup for the second consecutive year after a great 2-1 win over the Cork AUL on Leeside thanks to goals from Kieran McDaid and Nigel McMonagle.Swilly Rovers player Dylan Hegarty grabbed a late winner on his debut for the Republic of Ireland U-18 home based squad against Wales in an international friendly played in Waterford. The Irish won 3-2 with Milford lad Darragh Black (Finn Harps) also getting one of the goals. Also in the team were two other Finn Harps players Christopher Flanagan and Joe McIntyre.In the middle of the month Seamus Coleman played a starring role in Everton’s 3-1 FAI Cup win over Swansea at Goodison Park to secure a place in the quarter-finals against Arsenal. Carl McHugh’s last minute goal earned Bradford a 1-0 win over Port Vale.Letterkenny man Cillian Morrison was one of the goalscorers as UCD recorded a 2-0 win over IT Carlow to win the Umbro Colleges & Universities Premier League title for the fourth time in the competition’s eight year history. Also on the UCD side was Creeslough’s Mark Anthony McGinley who was the goalkeeper.Burnfoot native Paul McLaughlin was named as one of only four referees to be affiliated by FIFA. A Garda based in Monaghan, McLaughlin will now eligible to officiate in Europa and Champions League games along with international fixtures. On the last Sunday of February, Letterkenny Rovers booked their place in the quarter-finals of the FAI Youth Cup thanks to Gavin McDaid’s second half extra-time winner that gave Anthony Gorman’s side a 1-0 win over Ballybrack FC in Dublin.Dreams of a national title were dashed for the Letterkenny I.T. Ladies side who lost 3-0 to Waterford I.T. in Galway in the WSCAI Colleges Division 1 Final. However, there were celebrations for another Letterkenny woman Ciara Grant who scored the first goal in UCD’s 3-2 victory over Sligo IT in the WSCAI Colleges Premier Division Final. Termon woman Geraldine McLaughlin got both Sligo goals who also had Milford’s Caoimhe Barrett’s and Colleen Kearney (Clonmany) in their squad.The Donegal lifesaving team enjoyed a great weekend at the National Stillwater Championships in Limerick coming second place overall and winning four gold, two silver and 3 bronze medals into the bargain. Triona McMenamin from Letterkenny was first in the manikin tow and second in superlifesaver. Ayesha Garvey from Rossnowlagh was third in the superlifesaver for 13-16 age group. Talhia Britton from Rossnowlagh was third in the rescue medley. In the masters section Paddy Bond picked up a gold and a silver.It was a very good weekend for Inishowen at the World Indoor Tug-o-Ward Championships in Breaffy House, Mayo. The Clonmany B team won gold in the 600kg category with Cockhill taking bronze in this section. There was also gold in the Junior section for Clonmany in the 560kg category. Clonmany also took silvers in the 640kg section and in the 600kg U-23 final.In swimming Cian Ronney from Holy Family NS Ballyshannon won gold at the National Schools Finals in Dublin’s National Aquatic Centre. In secondary schools athletics Aaron McGlynn of Ballinamore VS won the Junior boys Ulster Schools Cross Country final in Mallusk. In the first week of February Mulroy College Milford were crowned All-Ireland B senior champions after a 3-0 win over Scoil Mhuire Ballymote (Sligo) in the decider at the Lakeside in Ballyshannon. Caoimhe Walsh had Mulroy a goal ahead at the break before Michelle Doherty’s scored twice in the second half to clinch a famous triumph for the Milford girls.FANTASTIC FEBRUARY – DONEGAL SPORTS STAR AWARDS REVIEW was last modified: March 14th, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:DONEGAL SPORTS STAR AWARDSlast_img read more