18 November 2011 No Comments by The Northern Standard

Monaghan’s rise up the pecking order of ladies football over the last 12 months was bookended on Saturday night last when four senior county players picked up 2011 All-Star awards. The hangdog looks of the Monaghan players on view in the immediate aftermath of last month’s All-Ireland SFC final defeat to Cork were relegated to history as Grainne McNally, Sharon Courtney, Therese McNally and Ciara McAnespie all received All-Star awards at the City West Hotel, Dublin. Joined by a gathering of the who’s who of ladies football, the four Monaghan luminaries were among those feted by over 1,000 people who came together to celebrate the individual contributions of some of the game’s most wondrous talents. The evening was especially memorable for the renowned McNally football family from Tyholland with Grainne and Therese collecting their first All-Stars having been selected at right corner back and right half forward respectively.
Sharon Courtney, Monaghan’s Captain Fantastic in 2011, re-visited old ground by collecting her second All-Star gong as did livewire attacker Ciara McAnespie.
Captain Courtney was in the running for the Senior Players’ Player of the Year award but just missed out with Cork ace Juliet Murphy seeing off the challenge of the Monaghan star and Murphy’s county team-mate Briege Corkery.
While there was great jubilation among the Monaghan fraternity who travelled to the capital last weekend for the All-Star extravaganza, some ladies football afficionados suggested that the Oriel county might well have been entitled to more than the four awards that were handed out. Ten Monaghan players had been nominated for All-Stars this year with Christine Reilly, Amanda Casey, Aoife McAnespie, Catriona McConnell, Cora Courtney and Caoimhe Mohan the unlucky players not to receive an All-Star this time round. Magheracloone’s young dynamo Ciara McDermott had no such ill-luck as she picked up the Ulster Young Player of the Year award. Following on in the footsteps of Monaghan duo Catriona McConnell and Ciara McAnespie, the classy county under 16 star played a pivotal role in Monaghan’s capture of the Ulster championship title.
Full report in The Northern Standard

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