Connacht veterans claim top honours

Connacht stalwart Michael Swift captured the Player of the Year award at the province’s annual awards evening.

The 33-years-old, who has the distinction of being Connacht’s most capped player, joined Connacht 11 years ago and has established himself as one of the province’s most physical and hardy players. Swift, who joined Connacht from Richmond, will stay at the Sportsground for another season.

Another veteran won the honours at the awards, which also celebrated Connacht’s 125th anniversary. Galway native Johnny O’Connor won the players’ player of the year award after taking over the captaincy for much of the season in the absence of the injured John Muldoon.

Former captain Billy Mulcahy was inducted into the Connacht Hall of Fame this year, joining former greats Brendan Guerin, Noel Mannion, Tony O’Suillivan and Ciaran Fitzgerald. Mulcahy, the former Skerries’ hooker, was capped 57 times during the nineties and also played for Ireland A and Ireland Sevens.

Galway’s Andrew Browne scooped two awards at the ceremony. Browne, younger brother of former Connacht lock Damien, firmly established himself in the starting XV this year. The 24-years-old Galwegian, who has been capped at Ireland u-19 and u-20 levels, graduated through Connacht’s academy.

Winners:

• U-18 youths, Conor Fitzgibbon (Buccaneers ).

• U-18 schools, Robbie Henshaw (Marist ).

• U-19, Shane Layden (Carrick ).

• U-20, Mark Dolan Corinthians.

• Clubman of the Year, John Martin (UCG ).

• Ladies, Claire Raftery (Galwegians ).

• Referee, David Connolly.

• Junior Club, Michael Murphy (Ballina ).

• Senior club, John Cleary (Galwegians ).

• Club of the Year, Sligo (John Kane, president ).

• Young player of the year, Andrew Browne.

• Player of the year, Michael Swift.

• Players’ player of the year, Johnny O’Connor.

• Players’ young player of the year, Andrew Browne.

• Hall of fame, Billy Mulcahy.

 

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