Basketball figurehead Gráinne O’Dwyer, soccer and ladies football dual ace Saoirse Noonan, and Bandon hockey duo Emma White and Victoria Burns were yesterday rewarded for their sporting excellence this season to date.
Evening Echo sports editor John McHale paid tribute to the recipients, and the new partners in the awards.
“It’s very simple in sporting terms, if you are the best in Cork then you are invariably the best in Ireland, and that’s certainly the case with our quarterly winners for the start of 2017,” he said.
“Gráinne O’Dwyer is one of, if not the, best female basketball players of the modern era and already an all-time great.”
Glanmire basketball club made history earlier this year when they won a record fourth National Cup in succession, and only narrowly missed out on the double.
Saoirse Noonan has shown her class on the international stage for the Irish soccer team, and in Cork colours with top-scoring displays on the ladies football front.
“Saoirse is one of the best young players in the country in both of her chosen sports and has already shown that time and again,” said McHale.
“Bandon hockey club achieved very deserved national honours this season and that was in no small part down to the excellence of Emma White and Victoria Burns,” he explained.
White and Burns were joint captains and vital cogs in the side that landed the Irish Hockey Trophy for the second year in a row.
“We’re very fortunate in the Evening Echo to have The Ambassador Hotel on board as partners and even in the 11 year of the Ladies Sports Star Awards they are as recognised around the city and county and sought-after as ever.”
Specially commissioned trophies, designed by Cork Crystal, Kinsale Road, were given to yesterday's winners, and after the four quarters have concluded an overall Supreme Ladies Sports Star winner will be selected for 2017. All-Ireland winning ladies footballer and current camogie captain Rena Buckley was picked last year.