Fethard’s top sports personality of 2014 will be named on Friday night

The Butlers Sports Achievements Awards has just completed its second successful year and will name its overall winner this Friday, January 16.

The Butlers Sports Achievements Awards has just completed its second successful year and will name its overall winner this Friday, January 16.

The aim of the scheme is to acknowledge and reward local sporting achievement at participation, administration or coaching level.

The competition is confined to Fethard parish but allows for Fethard people who live and work elsewhere as well as for people from outside who live or work in Fethard.

Another ambition of the steering group is that all sports are recognised and it is constantly seeking information and updates from the public in order to achieve this aim.

“We are currently working at designing a Facebook page to facilitate and simplify incoming information to the steering group”, said organiser and publican Philip Butler.

The format of the awards is to pick a monthly winner from all nominations received and the twelve winners then go forward as yearly finalists. This year just to complicate things slightly there are thirteen winners due to the fact that there were joint winners in July. Over 100 nominations were received covering 30 different sports.

The steering group who deserve great praise for their overall contribution consists of people from diverse sporting backgrounds and interests. They are, Mary Godfrey, Sandra Maher, M.J. Croke, Tomas Kane, Ciaran Treacy, Austin Godfrey, Paul Kavanagh, Brian Higgins, Paraic McCormack, Bobbi Houlihan, Des O’Meara and Philip Butler.

The 2014 Finalists are -

January - Matty Tynan, Horse Racing. According to the Racing Post, Matty has staked a claim to the best training feat of 2014 when his mare ‘Maontri’ won 3 races in 2 weeks at Dundalk racetrack. The mare also fulfilled a lifelong ambition for the Tynan family by competing at the Royal Ascot meeting.

February - Bridget O’Dwyer, Operation Transformation. This phenomenon took Fethard by storm during February with Bridget as programme leader, chief fitness instructor and chief motivator. The event which lasted for several weeks and held membership of up to 80 people all of whom benefited greatly from the experience.

March - Niall Higgins, Darts. Niall remains unbeaten as a dart player at local level having won 51 consecutive games and becoming champion once again of the local inter pub league.

April - Paul Fitzgerald, Gaelic Football. Long serving Tipperary and Fethard goalkeeper who helped win Division 4 of the league for Tipp. They also competed admirably during the championship qualifiers with victories over Longford and Cavan eventually losing out narrowly to Galway.

May - Alan O’Connor, Rugby. Alan was captain of Fethard Rugby club J2s which had a remarkable season by finishing runners-up in their section of the East Munster league and by winning the Evans cup. This is the first trophy won by the adult section of Fethard Rugby club sinse its re-forming.

June - Peggy Colville, Joe Keane. Community games. Peggy and Joe have been active as Community Games organisers for up to 40 years. 2014 was another very successful year when local athletes in athletics, swimming and Gaelic Games landed a hugh haul of medals.

July - (A) Evana Mc Cutcheon. Having had 2 previous nominations, firstly for riding the winner of the opening race of the Ladies World Cup in Oman, and secondly for training “Maarek” to victory in the Group 2 Prince Of Wales at York, she was eventually victorious for July when she won the Irish Ladies Derby at The Curragh on board “Zeptan”

July - (B) Keri Brett, Special Olympics. Keri won two gold medals at a Special Olympic event held in Limerick. Her victories were in Bowling and Push ball.

August - Bernard Feery, Athletics. Bernard continues to be a prolific successful middle distance runner. He had several nominations during the year but was eventually recognised for his performancs as winner of the Boston Scientific 0/50 event in Clonmel.

September - Kate Davey, Ladies Football. Although still under 16, Katie played a big part in helping Fethard adult ladies to victory in the County league and also reached the County final although beaten by Mullinahone. However her biggest achievement for 2014 was being part of the successful Tipperary u/16 team that won the All Ireland, scoring 3 points in the process.

October - Amy Pollard, Soccer/ Gaelic. Amy was chosen in October because as a member of the Killenaule/Moyglass ladies soccer team she won a Munster Intermediate winners medal. Also noteworthy is that she was chosen to play for Tipperary Intermediate ladies Gaelic footballers for the first time as well as helping Fethard Ladies defend their county league title.

November - Julie Connolly, Golf. Julie was captain of Cahir Park ladies golfers for 2014. Highlight of the year was victory in the Miele All Ireland Fourball inter club competition. Having accounted for Castletroy in the regional final they beat City Of Derry and Tuam after a playoff.

December - Michael Mouse Morris, Horse Racing. Well known trainer “Mouse” had a most successful Christmas Festival period in 2014 with 3 winners at Limerick. His 3 notable winners were ‘Horrendous Hullabaloo’, ‘Dromnea’ and ‘Ravished’ and completed a fantastic year for the stable.

Winner will be announced at a function in Butlers Sports Bar in Fethard on Friday night, January 16th. The event commences at 9pm and will be preceded by a cheese and wine reception. All are welcome.