Excellence in an International Field Award
Excellence in an International Field Nominees
It was a busy, busy year for Casey Howe. She was selected to captain the U17 Northern Ireland squad which played in the Atlantic Tournament in Tenerife. The Enniskillen girl then played in all three matches in the U17 women’s euro elite rounds in Portugal.
In July Casey was selected for her first u19 Northern Ireland squad, playing England and Canada in friendlies. In October Howe was on the Northern Ireland U19 womens squad which played Wales, Moldova and Norway. They beat Wales and Moldova, and lost against Norway but had done enough to qualify for the elite rounds this April. Howe assisted in five of the seven goals.
The following month she got her first senior international call-up, a huge achievement for a 17-year-old. Bear in mind this was in addition to winning serial honours at u17, u19 and senior level with Linfield.
Despite his struggles with injury, it was a year of progression for Ulster star Robert Baloucoune. In January He scored tries in Ulster’s victories over Racing 92 and Leinster as Ulster reached the European Champions Cup quarter-finals.
He got his first full game against Zebre as Ulster won 54-7. He registered a try in that win and followed that up with the bonus point try in Ulster’s next outing against Southern Kings.
Injury then intervened, but the Enniskillen man made an eye-catching return in December, putting in a man of the match display as Ulster defeated Dragons 29-5 in the PRO14. He again played a leading role as Ulster defeated Connacht 35-3, again in the PRO14.
Kathryn Dane made her Irish senior international debut with game-time against Wales in a Six Nations warm-up game. Dane then came on as a sub in the Six Nations opener against England. The Enniskillen star was again sprung from the bench against Scotland before getting her very first international start against Italy.
It was a year which will go down as one of the pinnacles in Denise Toner’s glittering career. She built up with FO40 gold in the Masters Cross Country Championships, a new Irish FO40 800m record of 2:09.57 at the Irish Milers Club meet in Drogheda, and FO40 400m and 800m gold at the National Masters Championships. Then in September Toner put in an astounding display to sweep to European Masters 800m F40 gold in Italy.
2019 marked a real return to form for Maguiresbridge man Lee Johnston. He claimed his first Supersport victory on opening day of North West 200 on board an Ashcourt Yamaha, Johnston’s fourth career win at the circuit.
June was a never to be forgotten month as Johnston won his first ever Isle of Man TT title as he piloted his Yamaha to victory in the Supersport race. The success continued to come with a victory at the Henshaw International Gold Cup at Oliver’s Mount in Scarborough, Johston topping the podium in the feature race and Supersport race. Johnston rounded the year off by matching his best place at the Macau GP, finishing fifth in a shortened event.
Please note: One vote per IP address. Your vote does not determine the overall winner but helps create awareness of the shortlisted nominees.
Deadlines: For ‘public view’ of votes: 4pm, Friday 17th January 2020
Final voting deadline is: 10am, Monday 20th January 2020.