Town and Railway players win top IHA Awards

Monkstown were the big winners from the 2014 IHA Hockey Awards at the Stillorgan Park Hotel as they landed the club of the year award while Gareth Watkins took the men’s club player of the year following their outstanding 2012/13 season.

Railway Union were a close second with Kate Dillon landing the women’s club player while Emma Smyth took home the international Player’s Player of the Year gong at an event where Alex Speers was also honoured for 150 Irish caps.

Monkstown's Gareth Watkins won Club player of the year Pic: Adrian Boehm

Monkstown’s Gareth Watkins won Club player of the year Pic: Adrian Boehm

Irish hockey also inducted four new Hall Of Famers Jimmy Kirkwood, Joanne Menown, John McKee and Noelle Branagan all becoming members this year.

The awards were nominated and voted on by the hockey public which saw over 6,000 people getting involved, bar the president and player’s players category.

The top two international player awards voted on by the players on the national sides to select their player of the year went to David Harte for the Samurai Men’s Award and the women’s Electric Ireland award went to Smyth.

They came in addition to the awards already confirmed. The U-18 player categories saw Sara Twomey (Hermes/Mount Anville) and Lee Cole (Monkstown/St Andrews) collecting trophies while Graham Shaw accepted the Stillorgan Park Coach of the Year award.

Inez Cooper (Loreto) was recognised for her volunteer work and Mount Anville received school of the year for the first time. It was ex-player turned umpire Fiona Davitt who secured the Dixon Rose Umpire of the Year while Wicklow’s Klaas de Vries was delighted to collect Developing Club of the year.

The President’s award, which is selected by the current Irish Hockey president to recognise someone who has made an outstanding contribution to the sport of hockey over the years, went to Doreen Howe.

Irish Hockey Awards shortlists
Senior Club Women’s Player of the Year: Sinead McGirr (Loreto); Kate Dillon (Railway Union); Ali Meeke (Loreto); Nikki Keegan (Loreto).
Senior Club Men’s Player of the Year: Dave Egner (Cork Harlequins); Gareth Watkins (Monkstown); Ross Canning (UCD); Mark Ingram (Pembroke Wanderers)
Club of The Year: Loreto; Monkstown; Railway Union, Muckross.

Irish Hockey Awards winners
U18 Girls Player of the Year: Sara Twomey (Hermes)
U18 Boys Player of the Year: Lee Cole (Monkstown)
Coach of the Year: Graham Shaw
Volunteer of the Year: Inez Cooper (Loreto)
Hockey School of the Year: Mount Anville
Umpire of the Year: Fiona Davitt
Developing Club of The Year: Wicklow Hockey Club

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