Thursday 22 August 2019

Search on to decide who gets supreme accolade

FIFTEEN different sports have featured in our Sportstar of the Week awards so far this year, reflecting a superb range of achievements.

And now it's time for you, our readers, to decide who should be our 2015 Sportstar of the Year in association with The Croke Park, a Doyle Collection hotel.

To be in with a chance of winning return flights for two people to Los Angeles, Newark or Connecticut, compliments of Aer Lingus, fill in the voting coupon and return it on or before December 8.

Your choice for Sportstar of the Year must be made from the list of weekly winners, while the nominations for our Young Sportsar of the Year are also listed below.

It's a tough choice, with so many of our sporting heroes having acheived so much in the year drawing to a close.

Michael Conlan won our Sportstar of the Week award twice. The Belfast bantamweight won gold at the European Elite Championships in August and followed that up by becoming the first Irish man to win a title at the World Amateur Championships in Doha.

Conor McGregor was another fighter who has captured the public's attention with his colourful personality and comprehensive displays inside the octagon.

In golf, it was a year to remember for Shane Lowry, highlighted by his stunning victory in the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, and Rory McIlroy.

Willie Mullins confirmed his status as the leading horse trainer on these shores with a plethora of big-race winners, including a record-breaking eight at Cheltenham, where produced a famous 1-2-3 in the Champion Hurdle.

Katie Walsh who stole the headlines in April when she became only the third female jockey to take the Irish Grand National with an emotional success aboard Thunder And Roses, while on the Flat Dermot Weld once again illustrated his phenomenal training talent.

The Rugby World Cup took the nation's attention during September and October and, while there was a disappointing conclusion for Joe Schmidt's side, cast your mind back to March 21.

The final day of the Six Nations had it all: skill, heart, determination and drama. Ireland's 40-10 in Murrayfield against Scotland, typified by an opening try by talismanic captain Paul O'Connell, secured back-to-back titles for the first time since 1949.

On the GAA front, Jack McCaffrey and rookie midfielder Brian Fenton were pivotal as Dublin claimed their 25th Sam Maguire triumph, while Eoin Larkin's All-Ireland final performance, after a remarkable recovery from a broken thumb, deservedly earned acclaim.

Meanwhile, Briege Corkery, along with team-mate Rena Buckley, powered into the record books, claiming their 16th All-Ireland senior title as Cork's ladies secured an amazing double.

Martin O'Neill and his players are looking forward to the finals of Euro 2016 after Jon Walters' two goals gave them victory over Bosnia in the second leg of their play-off in a campaign that will also be remebered for the victory over World champions Germany.

On the domestic scene, Dundalk completed a fantastic double, with Richie Towell very much the fulcrum of their success.

Irish Independent

The Left Wing: The 'hell' of World Cup training camp, Ireland's half-back dilemma and All Blacks uncertainty

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport