Overall Sports Personality of the Year Award
Chloe McGlade, Soccer
Clinical Chloe was rewarded for her emphatic finishing with a first call-up to Alfie Wylie’s senior Northern Ireland squad for back-to-back friendlies against Portugal as reward for her prolific performances in front of goal. The then 19-year-old UUJ student regularly heads the top scoring charts for her clubs, from her formative years with Omagh’s Cappagh Spurs to last year when she rattled in many important goals for Sion Swifts Ladies, who finished second in the NI Women’s Premiership and won a historic first ever Women’s Challenge Cup with a 2-0 final win against Newry City Ladies at the National Stadium. Chloe finished the season with 12 goals to her credit and one full international cap, earned against Taiwan.
Barry Donaghey, Motorcycling
Barry got 2017 off to a bright start by leading the Foyle HTM Offroad XC Championship after two rounds on board his Husqvarna 350cc four-stroke bike. He won the opening round at Dunmore Mountain (Ballynahinch) and followed that up with a third place finish at Newry’s Tinkerhill venue. At the same stage in the season he was second in the Irish Enduro Championship, which he went on to win outright after proving to be the model of consistency throughout the season, which also involved a trip to France for an event against 300 other teams, during which he, alongside Mervyn Griffin and Jordan Scott, he helped Ulster to 28th place overall.
Ryan McNelis, Golf
Ryan’s name is rarely off the leaderboard at his home course, but he has also made a name for himself away from Fintona Golf Club. The talented teenager confirmed his reputation as one of the top young golfers in both Ulster and Ireland by winning the Irish Junior Open U15 Championship at Killymoon Golf Club, while he was also runner-up at the Junior European Open U18 Final in Spain. In addition he was also the youngest player to make the cut which fell after 36 holes in the Ulster Youth Under-21 Championships at Royal Belfast Golf Club, emerged in first place from a top quality field in the under-16 category at the Faldo Series Ireland Championship and concluded 2017 by being named golfer of the year at Fintona, while reducing his handicap to just 1.
Phil Marshall, Rugby
Phil is the driving force, the architect and the infectious personality behind Omagh Accies’ resurgence and return to All Ireland League rugby after a near two decade absence. The head coach has helped nurture a talented crop of players, who have repaid his efforts by climbing from Ulster Rugby Championship 2, to the senior ranks, via an appearance at Kingspan Stadium for a Junior Cup final. His side won the Championship 1 title last season and then faced a gruelling round robin tournament to earn a place in Ulster Bank League 2C this term, clinching their place following a convincing 29-9 win at Boyne in a play-off clash. Since then, they have proved ready for an extended stay at senior level.
Darnell Moore, Cycling
When it comes to cycle racing, it seems there is nothing that Darnell cannot do. He has proved to be the master of all trades over the last 12 months, claiming a host of titles across a variety of disciplines – road racing, hill climbing, time trials and cyclocross – to secure his position as one to watch in 2018. The 21-year-old Dromore man won the iconic Shay Elliott Memorial Race in May, while in August he was crowned the Ulster 25-mile time trial champion, that after taking bronze in the 10-mile version, won the National Hill Climb Championship in October and followed all of those successes up by claiming the Irish National Cyclocross Championship title.
Colm Cavanagh, Gaelic Football
The Tyrone star has had a year to remember at club and county level, as well as personally. Widely hailed as one of the most influential players in the modern game, the Moy man secured his fourth Ulster Senior title with Tyrone, just days before becoming a father for the first time, and helped the Red Hands to the last four of the All-Ireland Championship, which saw him receive a long overdue All Star award. Since then, he has played a pivotal part in Moy’s county, provincial and national successes, helping them to the Tyrone IFC title, Ulster crown and to the brink of an historic All-Ireland success after playing in their All-Ireland Intermediate Club Championship semi-final win over Kerry’s An Ghaeltacht.
Jude Gallagher, Boxing
Jude cemented his position a rising star in Irish boxing circles after winning his sixth Irish title in July when defeating Patrick Connors in the National Senior Cadet Championship 46kg final. That win saw the 15-year-old Newtownstewart lad earn a place in the Irish squad for the 21st edition of the EUBC European Confederation Junior Boxing Championships in Bulgaria, where he caught the eye, by beating one of the event favourites, England’s Cameron Paul by a unanimous decision (5-0). He has also won a plethora of Mid Ulster, Nine Counties, Ulster, and Monkstown International titles, earned a gold medal at the Black Forest Cup, a multi-nations event in Germany, and in late January claimed the Irish under-18 title.
Cormac Munroe, Gaelic Football
Cormac played a captain’s role as Tyrone sealed their place in history when winning the first ever All-Ireland Under-17 Championship, courtesy of a resounding 2-18 to 0-15 victory over Roscommon at Croke Park on a day to remember for the young Red Hands. It was a performance befitting of the famous surrounds and put the cap on a superb season for the side, managed by Collie Holmes, which also annexed the Ulster League and Ulster Championship earlier in the campaign. Carrickmore teenager Cormac, who led by example throughout, with a string of dominant and determined showings in the pivotal centre-half back berth, produced excellent levels of consistency across the season.
Gerard Turbitt, Ironman
After becoming ‘hooked’ on multi-disciplined events following the inaugural Omagh Triathlon Club Tri the Lough event in 2011, Gerard Turbitt, has progressed at lightning pace to finish 2017 with Ironman AWA Gold status and ranked 18th in his age-group in the world. And the retired dentist, who didn’t attempt his first ironman event until the age of 62, had a year to remember in 2017, qualifying for the World 70.3 Championships in South Africa, after winning his section of the half-Ironman event in Dublin, finishing the UK’s most difficult ironman in Wales in horrendously wintry conditions and completing another of the world’s toughest ironman events in Lanzarote.
Connor O’Donnell, Gaelic Football
Connor’s wonderful attacking display for Omagh St Enda’s opening round Tyrone Senior Championship victory over Ardboe showed a huge amount of character, considering it came just a few short days after the funderal of his beloved father, Charlie. Channeling the pain and heartache following that devestating personal loss, Connor produced a talismanic performance to pay his own wonderful tribute on the field of play having never for once considered sitting out the match, during which he slotted over six points from play. He went on to produce starring roles in subsequent matches against Greencastle, Trillick and Errigal Ciaran (in the final), registering 17 points in total, as the O’Neill Cup was annexed for the ninth time.
Lewis Spratt, Motocross
Nine year-old Omagh lad Lewis enjoyed a season to remember on his 65cc motorcycle, sweeping all before him on the way to six championship titles. The year five Omagh County PS pupil was crowned Ulster, Irish, Errigal\Donegal, Ulster Barley Stubble and Cork Winter Series champion, he was part of the 65cc team, which won the Off Road Motorsport UK Championships and he helped Northern Ireland to third place at the Home Internationals – winning 66 of the 124 races he started during 2017. After starting out on a little 50cc automatic bike, Lewis soon graduated to an improved machine, on which he won an Irish title and narrowly missed out on an Ulster crown, having to settle for second overall.
Maria Canavan, GAA
As a member of the Canavan dynasty, success is no stranger to Maria and certainly not in 2017 when she capped a ‘four’-midable year by amassing a personal scoring tally of 2-9 in the Ladies Ulster Minor Club Championship Final before Christmas, as the jubilant Errigal Ciaran girls accounted for Armagh’s Clann Eireann in the decider. The success ensured that the 18 year old wrapped up her own brilliant Ulster ‘quadruple’ having also lifted provincial football titles with St Ciaran’s College, Ballygawley, and Tyrone Seniors and Minors in the calendar year. Errigal’s maiden triumph in the Ulster Club provided the perfect ending to what has been an exhausting but hugely satisfying season for Maria.
Please note: One vote per IP address. Your vote does not determine the overall winner but helps create awareness of the shortlisted nominees.
Deadline for public view is: 10am, Monday 19th February 2018 Final voting deadline is: 10am, Friday 23rd February 2018.