Overall Sports Personality of the Year Award
January – Oscar Murphy, Golf*
As a 13-year-old, Oscar made headlines around the world when he struck an amazing tee shot at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship alongside Rory McIlroy, Tommy Fleetwood and Dustin Johnston. The talented teenager launched a high fade off the 15th tee with his three wood onto the middle of the par 3 green some 183 yards away, inside Johnson and Fleetwood and just a couple of feet outside McIlroy’s effort. Having delivered on the big stage, Oscar and his family then moved back from the UAE to the Omagh area and he was soon impressing on the fairways again, helping Omagh Academy to a first victory over Omagh CBS in four years to claim the Passmore Shield. (*Also Young Personality Nominee)
Feburary – Ryan Mayse, Soccer
Scoring two goals in a cup final is no mean feat, but when those strikes deliver a first ever senior title for the club you are playing for then it’s all the more special. Ryan produced on the big stage for Dungannon Swifts in the Bet McLean League Cup final as they overcame Ballymena United 3-1 at the National Stadium (Windsor Park) to seal the coveted trophy, thanks to his brace. Since then, the Newtownstewart man has moved on to the opponents on that day, Ballymena, who he again helped to reach the decider of the same competition before missing out due to injury. And he also impressed on the Gaelic pitch, helping St Eugene’s to the Tyrone Junior Championship crown.
March – Frank Burns, Gaelic Football
Frank played a starring role as Tyrone avoided being thrust into a relegation battle by recording three vital victories to secure their National League Division One status. It was by all standards an important period for the Red Hands and an absolutely critical contribution was made by the Pomeroy Plunketts player who has firmly established himself in the county set-up. Having graduated from the Minor ranks in 2013 and then as part of the All-Ireland winning U-21s in 2015, he helped Mickey Harte’s men to reach the All-Ireland final in September before they fell just short against an all-conquering Dublin at a sun-splashed Croke Park.
April – Paul Loughran, Snooker
‘Burger’ as he’s affectionately known, was on a roll in 2018, winning a second Omagh and District Premier League title, reaching the last-16 of the NI Championship, helping his Coach Inn Aces team to runners-up spot in the league and he finally got his hands on the coveted Open Individual crown before getting married to Donna to cap a wonderful 12 months. Since then he’s continued in a similar vein. He has helped the Aces, which includes older brothers Shane and Barry, to top spot in the league standings and he and Barry are battling tooth and nail for the Division One Player of the Year title after again producing a season of consistency on the green baize.
May – Conor McElduff, Handball
A staggering array of trophies only tells half the story of our very own handballing superstar Conor McElduff. The Breacach man won four titles in as many weekends in May, including the coveted Irish Nationals for the fourth time which qualified him to represent Team Ireland at the World Championships in Minnesota. There he became the first ever Irish winner of the Mens Open Singles gold medal with victory over American Vlad Lyym. The Irish and European number one so cemented his status as the best one wall exponent Ireland has ever produced, and all this just two years after a serious health scare threatened his sporting career.
June – Jamie Lyons, Motorcycling*
A perfect record is very difficult to achieve, but 13-year-old Jamie managed it last year. He entered all 20 Junior Cup races in Dublin at the Mondello Masters Championships and won all 20 to complete a remarkably dominant season on his 300cc Kawasaki Ninja. He also finished second overall in the Ulster Championship and impressed at the MotoGP Red Bull Rookies Cup in Spain, so as far as years go, 2018 will be difficult for Jamie to top. However, he’ll be sure to give it a good go having sealed a place in the British Talent Cup where he will be up against the best riders under the age of 16, as well as a place on the grid in the Moto3 Championship. (*Also Young Personality Nominee)
July – David Irvine, Cycling
A veritible veteran by the time he first took to the saddle competitively, David proved age is but a number during the summer when he claimed a first ever Tour of Omagh title. Over three days of gruelling action, the 39-year-old proved himself to be a jack of all trades as he not only took the coveted overall victory and title, but he was also crowned King of the Hills after conquering the many ascents which are a key part of the A4 standard event that attracts racers from far and wide. Despite having only started racing five years earlier, a dedicated build-up to the Tour of Omagh ensured the Caldwell Cycles rider was on top of his game over the weekend as he annexed the title.
August – Padraig Hampsey, Gaelic Football
Padraig enjoyed a terrific championship campaign with club and county in 2018. The 24 year old was awarded Man of the Match for Tyrone for his display in the All Ireland defeat against Dublin. In his third year in the Tyrone senior set-up, he has already picked up two Ulster Championship titles to go with his provincial medal when he captained the minors in 2012 and All Ireland and Ulster under 21 medals from 2015. As well as impressing throughout Tyrone’s run to the All-Ireland final, he played a pivotal part in Coalisland’s Tyrone Senior Championship victory after they defeated Killyclogher in this season’s showpiece. Also deservedly scooped an All-Star for his superb displays.
September – Adrian Pollock, Motorsport
Three years after being involved in a near life-altering and career-ending accident at Kirkistown race circuit, Omagh man Adrian returned to the top of the podium and clinched the Northern Ireland Sprint Championship title. Having taken a step back from the sport following that incident in 2015, he began his comeback in 2017 after moving from circuit racing to sprinting. But it was last year that he got fully back up to speed when he recorded three wins and two second places during the NI Championship in his Dallara F301 to pip main rival, John Morgan to the national crown, which was perhaps suitably sealed at Larne Motor Club’s sprint, which was held at Kirkistown.
October – Makenna Chadwick, Archery*
2018 was a year that just got better and better for Makenna, who brought her season to an end by winning a World title in South Africa. The Drumragh Integrated College pupil won the Junior Female Bow Hunter Recurve title at the IFAA World Field and Hunter Championships where she missed out on a world record due to a printing error. Earlier in the year she won a bronze medal at the European Indoor Archery Championships in Budapest, which was followed by wins at the NIFAA Junior Field and Hunter Open Championships, the UK and Ireland Field Archery Championship, and the NI Field Archery Championships in Derry. (*Also Young Personality Nominee)
November – Eoighain Murray, Gaelic Football
Back to back Championship triumphs, the second secured against the odds, has propelled Tattyreagh back to the top flight for the first time in almost fifty years. One of the exciting young stars of their side is defender Eoighain who played a pivotal role in their march to the Tyrone Intermediate title in the autumn as well as progress to the last four of the Ulster Championship. He was a key man in defence, especially in the County Final against a dangerous Augher attack, showing real leadership and determination. He and his team-mates will look forward to campaigning in senior football now in 2019.
December – Lyndsey McCay, Hockey
The McCay clan certainly had a 2018 to remember! While Shirley played a lead role as Ireland, against the odds, earned a silver medal at the World Cup in London, little sister Lyndsey was helping Omagh Hockey Club to flourish on the domestic front. The youngest of the three McCay sisters had the honour of becoming the first Omagh skipper to lift the prestigious Senior One League Cup following a richly deserved 2-0 victory against Raphoe after Omagh had topped their qualifying group and defeated Portadown 4-0 in the semis. Lyndsey also took on the bulk of the coaching duties and by the end of the year both the club’s firsts and seconds were sitting proudly on top of their respective leagues.
Please note: One vote per IP address. Your vote does not determine the overall winner but helps create awareness of the shortlisted nominees.
Deadlines: For ‘public view’ of votes: Monday 25th February 2019 10am
Final voting deadline is: Friday 1st March 2019 10am