Antrim Hockey Club 2019 Awards Dinner.
The Club Chairman Mr Dean Kane welcomed all the guests and members to the 2019 Award Presentation Dinner held in the Top of the Town Restaurant last Friday evening. After the meal he reflected on the playing performances of the three adult Club teams. The Firsts option to play in the reorganised Premier League had turned out to be a serious mistake as they were completely out of their depth losing all 13 of their matches. They had played in the Linden Cup against Intermediate club opposition and had beaten all before them in reaching the final as firm favourites but their opponents Ballynahinch had other ideas, easily winning the game. After that shock defeat several of our key players lost interest and Coach Alan Mullan and Captain Dean Wilson had the difficult task of trying to get a team on the pitch for the rest of the season. In consequence the Seconds under the Captaincy of Matthew Whiteside also suffered and they struggled to get a team out week after week. However they rallied and only were relegated when they lost their last match of the season. The Thirds under their enthuastic Captain Stuart Campbell was a squad of mainly schoolboys and a few loyal veterans, gathered in from the Clubs dedicated weekly training sessions held at the Forum and they finished in the top half of their league. He thanked the Office bearers, Captains, Coaching Staff and Club Umpires for all their hard work through the season. He praised the interest and support of quite a few of the younger members in their coaching and umpiring of the thriving mini boys and girls section under the direction of Johnny McMeekin. Thanks also went to all the supporters who give the team a boost every Saturday. The Club’s Match Secretary, Thirds Captain and Schoolboy Coach Stuart Campbell said that despite the disappointing performances of the adult teams there had been a big influx of youth into the Club this year and he was pleased to see so many of them at the dinner. He was confident that the new broom of youth sweeping into the Club would enthuse everyone into quickly reviving the playing fortunes from the start of next season.
Chairman Dean Kane then made the following Club Awards for the past Season. – The George Houston Cup – Clubman of the Year to Tommy Monahan; The Paddy Marks Cup - Player of the Year to Dean Wilson; The Albert Anderson Cup -Young Player of the Year to Nial Black; The Alvin Carson Cup - Junior Player of the Year to Nathan Murdock; The Gerard Allen Shield - Youth Player of the Year to Ben Kennedy; The Andrew Gleghorne Cup Most Improved Player of the Year to Cameron O’Neill. Club Coach Alan Mullan presented Dean Wilson with the Top Goal-scorer Award. The Club Fair Play Award – the Jarden Cup was won by Daryl Fulton for his work with the Mini Girls Squad. The Alan McMeekin Memorial Cup for a lifetime service to the Club was awarded to Andy Gleghorne. The Young Volunteer of the Year Adam Morrison won the Alan McMeekin Shield for his work with the Mini Boys and Girls. Mr Kane concluded by reminding all present that the Six a Side Tournament was being organised for next month and that everyone was needed to help during that week to make it a continued successful fundraising event He invited all to relax and enjoy the rest of the evening and thanked the Top of the Town for hosting the dinner.