By Liam Hogan Diarmuid Fitzgerald, Roscrea was voted the Nenagh Guardian North Tipperary Hurler of the year for 2004. The award was made at a presentation held in the Nenagh Eire Og complex, last Friday night. It was organised by the North GAA Board. Diarmuid received the award beating off strong opposition from Daragh Egan Kildangan, Noel Gleeson Burgess, Paul Hogan Burgess and Shane
Diarmuid became the third Roscrea man to take the award. Francis Loughnane won the award twice in 1971 and 73. Then three years later it was the turn Tadgh O Connor.
For Diarmuid Fitzgerald the award comes in a year, when he lined out at centre back in the Permanent North Senior Hurling championship to help Roscrea win the North final for the first time since 1980, defeating Borris-Ileigh in the final.
He played excellently for Tipp seniors at left wing back and he captained
Tipperary to success in the Munster U-21 Hurling final following a great win over Cork. Currently he is waiting to regain full fitness as he will hope to help UCD to win the All-Ireland club final next year, assuming that the Dublin team get over James Stephens of Kilkenny in the Leinster club final this weekend.
Football: David Hickey Ballina.
In football, Ballina continue to be the top club in the code as David Hickey won player of the year following becoming the third Ballina man to do so. He follows in the footsteps of Peter King who won the event last year, while Sean McKeogh won the award in 2000.
The success for David comes in a year when Ballina won their first ever North Intermediate football final, defeating Newport in the decider. Hickey played an influential role then and in the county semi final he played outstandingly as Ballina failed to win a place in the county final.
Last year, David was a member of the Tipp U-21 football team and he won both a County Junior and U-21 football double with his club.
By winning the award he beat off stiff opposition in Richie Flannery Nenagh Eire Og, Ger O Brien Ballina and George Hannigan Shannon Rovers.