The Echo Women in Sport awards will honour 12 brilliant female athletes

The Echo Women in Sport awards will honour 12 brilliant female athletes
Lorna Bateman, Harlequins hockey, Meg Ryan, Douglas gymnastics, and Eimear Scally, Éire Óg and Cork footballer at The Cork Airport hotel. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

THIS Friday the winner of The Echo Women in Sport Awards will be announced at a gala luncheon at the Cork Airport Hotel.

Twelve of Cork’s finest sports stars are in competition for the title of supreme winner. Also on the day a Hall of Fame winner will be announced and an Outstanding Achievement award winner will be unveiled. The quarterly winners include:

Grace Young: What a year 2019 was for the first of our winners. One of the stand-out performances among a series of strong displays was coming fourth in the national road race championships in June, winning silver in the master category.

Grace Young with her family Patsy, John, Marie and Ruth Young with Ciarán Moore. Picture: Dan Linehan
Grace Young with her family Patsy, John, Marie and Ruth Young with Ciarán Moore. Picture: Dan Linehan

Christina Desmond: The Fr Horgan’s BC southpaw welterweight had the distinction of winning two national elite belts in 2019.

In June, she won the Haringary Box Cup in London and followed that with a quarter-final appearance at the European Elite Women’s Championships in Madrid in August.

Catríona Casey: Cork won six senior handball All-Irelands in 2019 and our winner was responsible for three of them, including doubles wins with clubmate Aishling O’Keeffe in the 40/20 and 60/30 doubles. She also won the She’s Ace Open singles.

Meg Ryan: At the European Youth Olympics in 2017, her all-round ability was clear to see as she combined the vault, bar, beam and floor disciplines to great effect.

The foundations for those international displays were laid in May as she came out on top in the national senior championships.

Eimear Scally: In the spring, she was to the fore as her college UL won the O’Connor Cup and then she helped Cork to win the national league title and the Munster championship crown.

Eimear Scally scores a goal at Páirc Uí Chaoimh. Picture: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile 
Eimear Scally scores a goal at Páirc Uí Chaoimh. Picture: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile 

Lorna Bateman: A lot rests on the goalkeeper. Such was the case in last May’s Irish senior hockey cup final, as Cork Harlequins came up against Loreto. She proved her worth with four saves in the shootout, helping her team to a 2-1 win to claim the title for just the second time.

Aoife O’Sullivan: It was for her performance at the inaugural Youth Nations Cup in Santry last August - one of only two Irish winners - that she was honoured by The Echo. It won’t be the last time that the high jump features.

Abbie O’Mahony: In 2019, she was named captain of the Cork team who went on to win the All-Ireland title.

Emily Hegarty: Last year, representing UCC, she was part of the women’s rowing four that came tenth in the senior, with eight to qualify for the Olympics. Still eligible for U23, she was also on the Irish crew that came second in the world championships in Florida.

Tara Hanlon: She won the women’s four at the U23 worlds in Florida. This winner was a part of that crew, having first taken up rowing with Cork Boat Club eight years ago, at the age of 14.

Aileen Buckley: Played a key role for Donoughmore in their All-Ireland junior football win.

Aileen Buckley and Laura Fitzpatrick. Picture: Dan Linehan
Aileen Buckley and Laura Fitzpatrick. Picture: Dan Linehan

Laura Fitzgerald: The Mourneabbey star kicked the winning point with just 16 second left, to see them retain their All-Ireland senior club football title.

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