21 April 2011 No Comments by The Northern Standard


The creme de la creme of young Monaghan football talent currently mixing it with the best of their peers in Ulster and Ireland experienced mixed fortunes, on and off the field of play, over the past week.

Blue chip schools and college players from the county were the focus of attention as honours were dispensed in the white heat of battle and in the cold light of day, far from the madding crowd. On Saturday last, the crack Brock Cup squad from St. Macartan’s College proudly gave their all before coming up short in their final against St. Patrick’s, Maghera. The following Monday though, Monaghan football had again some rouge in its cheeks when a selection of Ireland’s top student footballers and hurlers gathered in Dublin to receive their Ulster Bank Rising Star Awards for 2011.

At the special ceremony, the highly-vaunted Conor Galligan (Monaghan Harps), Donal Morgan (Scotstown) and Conor McManus (Clontibret), all representing UUJ, were among those honoured with an award.
The Rising Stars team was selected on the basis of individual performances witnessed during the 2011 Higher Education Football Championships. Unsurprisingly, finalists from both flagship competitions, the Ulster Bank Sigerson and Fitzgibbon Cups, took the majority of the awards after two nail-bitting championships.

The Monaghan triumvirate were among 30 students who were presented with their awards by Uachtarán Chumann Lúthchleas Gael, Críostóir Ó Cuana, at a reception held in Ulster Bank Group Centre in Dublin. All told, 11 counties were represented among the award winners. The Ulster Bank Rising Stars is selected from 5,000 registered players across 57 colleges and seven senior level championships, with the top 15 players in both football and hurling receiving the prestigious accolade.

“The Ulster Bank GAA Rising Star Awards honour individual athletic achievement and outstanding team commitment,” the Ulster Bank’s Director of Business Banking Sean Martyn declared. “The standard of play we have seen throughout this year’s Ulster Bank Sigerson and Fitzgibbon Cups, among others, has been exceptional and I have no doubt that these players will become household names in years to come.” The aforementioned Galligan, Morgan and McManus were selected at left corner back, centre-back and full-forward respectively on the Ulster Bank Rising Stars 2011 team.

The full Rising Stars line-up was announced as follows: Ken O’Halloran (Cork); Peter Crowley (Kerry),Eoin O’Mahony (Cork), Conor Galligan (Monaghan); Sean Kiely (Cork), Donal Morgan (Monaghan), Shane Redmond (Carlow); Conor Brophy (Kildare), James Fitzpatrick (Cork); John O’Loughlin (Laois), Mark Collins (Cork), Kevin O’Driscoll (Cork); David Quinn (Dublin), Conor McManus (Monaghan), JB Spillane (Kerry).


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