Gala awards night celebrates another great year of hockey in Ulster

Lurgan Ladies star Charlene Hull who claimed the Women's Player of the Year award last night
Lurgan Ladies star Charlene Hull who claimed the Women's Player of the Year award last night

The Annual Ulster Hockey awards were handed out at a glittering awards ceremony at the Ramada Hotel in Belfast on Friday night.

This year the Men’s Player of the Year was presented to Belfast Harlequins keeper Iain Kelly.

Having made his debut for Collegians in 1981 against Ballynahinch as a third form student at Methodist College, Kelly has become a true character of Ulster Hockey.

Now playing for Belfast Harlequins, Iain has played over 1,000 matches for the club he has been with for many years and despite many offers from other clubs he remained loyal to the club that gave him his start.

Meanwhile, the Women’s Player of the Year award went to Charlene Hull.

Charlene is the current captain of Lurgan Ladies and captained them to the Women’s Premier League title

She was also on the scoresheet throughout the season and bagged 14 goals in the Premier League, Denman Ulster Shield and Presidents Cup over the 2015-16 season

Charlene is a hard-working player who always give of her best on the pitch and is regarded as a key player in the Lurgan Ladies squad.

Elsewhere, the Men’s Personality of the Year Award was presented to Des Simon. A former President over the 1965/66 season and Irish President over the 1974/75 season, Des has been associated with Cliftonville throughout his life and will soon be 100 years of age.

The Hall Cup (Personality of the Year for Women) was presented to Dungannon’s Jennifer Hobson MBE.

Current President of Dungannon Hockey Club, Jennifer was instrumental in the encouragement of young umpires and still a current member of the Ulster Senior Panel herself, she has continued to mentor many new members.

The Men’s Top Goalscorer award went to Stephen Kelso whose prolific scoring form played an important part in Instonians Hockey Club’s successful season helping to win the Ulster Premier League and Kirk Cup titles as well as promotion to the EY Hockey League for the 2016-17 season.

Stephen scored 32 goals over the 2015/16 season, one more than fellow team mate William Robinson

The Duke Cup for Women’s Top Goalscorer was awarded to Queen’s University forward Tori Hastings who this season recorded 23 goals to her name across the Premier League, Denman Ulster Shield and President’s Cup.

This year’s Winifred Templeton Award was awarded to Pat Hall of Parkview Ladies Hockey Club.

Having helped establish Parkview Ladies Hockey Club back in 1974, Pat has made a huge contribution to the club and to ladies hockey over the last 40 years.

The evening came to a close with Queen’s University Ladies Hockey Club being awarded the coveted Club of the Year accolade. Queen’s 2nd XI enjoyed a remarkable year winning the treble by winning Junior 1 for a second year on the bounce, the McConnell Shield and also winning the Irish Junior Cup beating Loreto 3-2 at Belfield. Queen’s 3rd XI also had a successful year winning the double by winning Junior 3 and the Junior Cup and the 4th XI capped of a strong year for the University by winning Junior 6.

Queen’s 1st XI also had a strong year making the finals of the Denman Ulster Shield and President’s Cup but unfortunately lost out to Randalstown on both occasions. They also finished fourth in the Premier League.