Clarke double at Irish News Awards

September 14, 2010

While the main accolade of the night went to Down’s Martin Clarke who was chosen as The Irish News’s Ulster Footballer of the Year, namesake Jamie Clarke, in his inaugural year in Senior football, was picked at corner forward in the All-Star 15.

Crossmaglen Rangers Jamie made an explosive start to his intercounty career showing a great goalscoring touch which no doubt earned him a place on a star studded team. Jamie was one of two Armagh choices with Clonmores Brendan Donaghy getting selected at corner back following some outstanding displays all year.

Martin Clarke, whose return from the AFL has coincided with Down’s surprise run to the All-Ireland football final, was the overwhelming choice of The Irish News readers and The An Riocht clubman,was also named at centre half forward on the All-Star 15.

Clarke was one of seven Down players to pick up awards at last week’s ceremony in the Armagh City Hotel with goalkeeper Brendan McVeigh, defenders Damien Rafferty and Kevin McKernan, midfielder Ambrose Rogers and attackers Danny Hughes and Benny Coulter also named on the team.

Ulster champions Tyrone are represented on the team by brothers Justin and Joe McMahon, Philip Jordan, Martin Penrose and Owen Mulligan and Monaghan midfielder Dick Clerkin were the other players honoured.

Special merit awards went to the Armagh hurlers, who won the Nicky Rackard Cup, Antrim camogie player Rhona Torney, who continues to play despite suffering from a rare heart condition, and Tyrone ladies football star, Sinead McLaughlin.

The Irish News All-Star 15 for 2010 is: Brendan McVeigh (Down); Brendan Donaghy (Armagh), Justin McMahon (Tyrone), Damien Rafferty (Down); Kevin McKernan (Down), Joe McMahon (Tyrone), Philip Jordan (Tyrone); Dick Clerkin (Monaghan), Ambrose Rogers (Down); Danny Hughes (Down), Martin Clarke (Down), Martin Penrose (Tyrone); Benny Coulter (Down), Owen Mulligan (Tyrone) and Jamie Clarke (Armagh).