RUGBY AWARDS: Campbell and Morrison score with Ulster Bank

Omagh Accies representatives at the Ulster Bank League Awards dinner last night in the Aviva Stadium from left, Mervyn Beattie, Stuart McCain (nominated for Ulster Bank Division 2C player of the year, Ashley Blair and Tony Neill
Omagh Accies representatives at the Ulster Bank League Awards dinner last night in the Aviva Stadium from left, Mervyn Beattie, Stuart McCain (nominated for Ulster Bank Division 2C player of the year, Ashley Blair and Tony Neill

Malone’s Rory Campbell and Banbridge’s Andrew Morrison were the toast of Ulster club rugby last night at the annual Ulster Bank All Ireland League awards.

Campbell was named Ulster Bank Division 2A player of the year by the panel of judges, receiving his award from Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt.

Banbridge's Andrew Morrison receives his award from Joe Schmidt

Banbridge's Andrew Morrison receives his award from Joe Schmidt

And Morrison, while just missing out on the Division 1a player of the year accolade at last night’s gala event in the Aviva Stadium, picked up the popular Ulster vote and named provincial player of the season.

Omagh’s Stuart McCain and Rainey’s Tommy O’Toole had also received nominations for the respective players of the year in Divisions 2C and 2B.

And Queen’s University;s Chris Moore was among those nominated for the Club PRO of the year.

Carol McMahon, Head of Business Marketing & Sponsorship, Ulster Bank said: “Ulster Bank is extremely proud to support grassroots rugby in Ireland.

“We understand the commitment and dedication that players, coaches and volunteers give to make their club the best it can be.

“All the nominees tonight are testament to the outstanding talent which has been displayed on countless occasions in clubs across the country throughout the season.

IRFU President Philip Orr commented, “The Ulster Bank League allows clubs to showcase their talent, their communities and the values rugby represents.

“These awards are a welcome recognition of the dedication and commitment of not just the players but the volunteers in our clubs that represent the bedrock of our game. On behalf of the IRFU I would like to congratulate the individual winners and their clubs and express our gratitude to Ulster Bank for their continuing support of our national Club competition.”

Lansdowne FC topped off an amazing season following their recent Division 1A and Bateman Cup final victories by taking home four awards with influential coach Mike Ruddock being awarded the coveted Division 1A Coach of the Year having led his team to the title winning 18 of 20 games.

Talismanic fly-half Scott Deasy claimed the Top Points Scorer for his outstanding 219 points tally this season while Harry Brennan claimed the Leinster Player of the Year Award. This year also saw the introduction of a new category, the #UBLTry of the Year, recognising the winners of the #UBLTry of the Month throughout this season’s Ulster Bank League which was claimed by Daniel McEvoy.

Neil Cronin who earned himself a Munster contract ahead of next season on the back of his performances with Garryowen FC this season capped off an incredible year being named the Division 1A Player of the Year. Cronin who also captained the Ulster Bank Club international team this year was also awarded the Munster Player of the Year.

Liam Coombes ensured a successful evening for Garryowen FC claiming the Top Try Scorer in Division 1A with 11 tries.

Remaining in Munster Alex McHenry who excelled in Cork Constitution FC’s run to the Division 1A final claimed the Division 1A Rising Star of the Year. In a historic year for UCC RFC, Paul Kiernan claimed the Division 1B Player of the Year for his role in leading the Cork University to Division 1A for the first time.

Sligo’s Shane Boyle was named the Division 2C Player of the Year while Galwegians Brian Murphy took top prize as Connacht Player of the Year.

Old Crescent RFC who claimed the Division 2B title unbeaten were awarded for their work both on and off the field with Val McDermott claiming the Division 2B player of the year and Frank Larkin being named the Ulster Bank P.R.O. of the Year.