Railway Union’s ladies, the Watkins family and Glenanne were the big winners at last night’s Irish Hockey Awards, held in the Burlington Hotel with nearly 400 people in attendance, including former world super-bantamweight champion boxer Bernard Dunne, Minister for Culture, Tourism and Sport Mary Hanafin and compered by RTE’s Darragh Maloney.
Brother and sister Gareth and Chloe Watkins followed in the footsteps of Gordon and Trevor Watkins as family members to earn the coveted awards, taking the Men’s Club Player and ESB U-18 Female player of the year, respectively.
Chloe was a potent factor in St Andrew’s claims for the School Club of the Year win, too, having helped the Booterstown outfit to a trio of senior girls titles to match their boy’s senior cup win.
Railway Union ladies, meanwhile, capped their treble-winning season with the Club of the Year crown while Mick McKinnon took the Coach of the Year having led his side to their second Leinster league title and the club’s first ever national titles – the Irish Indoor Trophy and the recent ESB IHL triumph.
The Glens, meanwhile, had a number of club members honoured on the night. Shane O’Donoghue was the recipient of the Boy’s U-18 Player of the Year after becoming the club’s first team top scorer from play this term, netting 18 times in total – including one in the Irish Senior Cup final win.
Kieran Bolger was rewarded for an excellent season with the whistle to take Umpire of the Year while Graham Shaw was presented with his 150th cap – earned in Argentina in the World Cup Qualifiers.
North Kildare were the winners of the Development club of the Year in a season where they opened their floodlit astroturf pitch at The Maws and achieved their women’s highest ever league finish in division two.
Botanic, former Development club winners, took the Youth Club of the Year title and are another side to have funded and built a new astro in the past season with the benefits extending to St Mary’s, Glasnevin – nominees in School of the Year category.
The senior player of the year sections, nominated by the Irish senior international panels, saw Mikey Watt and Bridget Cleland named by their peers as the top performers in the past 12 months which included Champion’s Challenge, European Championship and World Cup qualifying events.
Cork Harlequins were double winners; Dave Egner rewarded for his work at club, school and provincial level to receive the U-18 Coach of the Year while Karen Bateman – a driving force in her club’s run to the IHL final – was given ESB Women’s Club player of the year.
School of the Year: St. Andrews College, Dublin.
DVD Centre developing club of the Year Award: North Kildare
Trilogy Technologies Youth Club of the Year Award: Botanic
Local Lotto Volunteer of the year award: Ciaran Delaney (Knocknacarra)
Dixon Rose Umpire of the Year award: Kieran Bolger
O’Driscoll O’Neil U18 Coach of the Year Award: David Egner (Cork Harlequins)
O’Driscoll O’Neil Coach of the Year: Mick McKinnon (Railway Union)
ESB Club of the Year: Railway Union Ladies Hockey Club
ESB U18 Female Player of the Year: Chloe Watkins (St Andrews, Hermes, Ireland)
Samurai U18 Male Player of the Year: Shane O’Donoghue (High School, Glenanne, Ireland)
ESB Senior Women’s Club Player of the Year: Karen Bateman (Cork Harlequins)
Samurai Senior Men’s Club Player of the Year: Gareth Watkins (Monkstown)
ESB Players Player of the Year Awards: Bridget Cleland (Ireland)
Samurai Players Player of the Year Award: Michael Watt (Ireland)
President’s Award: John Smyth
2010 Hall of Fame Inductees: Margaret Gleghorne (Ulster); Mary Geaney (Munster); Eddie Cummins (Munster) and Billy McConnell (Ulster)
* To see Tristan Seaton-Stedham’s photos from the Awards night, click here