The curtain came down on the Wexford Football League 2021-’22 season as outstanding performers were feted at the Player of the Year awards night at the Riverbank House Hotel on Friday.
welve clubs were represented among the 14 winners, with Ferns United and Shamrock Rovers doubling up with two awards apiece.
Talented Moyne Rangers player Conor Bruce landed the Premier Division prize, seeing off stiff competition from Michael Dempsey of Shamrock Rovers and Ivan Meegan of Ferns United.
The Division 1 gong went the way of prolific North End United talisman Jason Murphy, who was selected ahead of fellow nominees Conor Sutton of Curracloe United and Cathal Cummins of Corach Ramblers for helping the Sky Blues to back-to-back league titles.
Patrick O’Shea of Ajax Athletic was rewarded for his outstanding performances for champions Ajax Athletic with the Division 2 award, with Craig Foley of Enniscorthy United and Killian Cushe of Gorey Rangers the other nominees.
It came as no surprise that Shane Cassidy picked up the Division 3 award, scoring an incredible 52 goals as he helped his side to league and Neil O’Sullivan Cup glory. The other nominees, Anthony Hayes of Forth Celtic and Des Mythen of St. Joseph’s, also know where the net is and enjoyed fruitful seasons in the goal-scoring stakes themselves.
Another ace marksman, Shane Lawlor of Rathnure United, won the Division 3A award. Lawlor netted a record 40 goals for his club this season, which was enough for him to get nod ahead of Stephen Doyle of Cushinstown and Eoghan ‘Snowy’ Kehoe of Ballymurn Celtic.
Goalkeeper Ben Nugent picked up the Division 4 award for his outstanding performances between the sticks for Kiltealy Celtic, with Ryan Dobbs of Enniscorthy United and Michael Kinsella of Courtown Hibs also nominated.
Theo Doyle of Glynn Barntown was rewarded for his role in driving Glynn Barntown to the title by claiming the Division 4A award, ahead of Martin Óg Storey of The Ballagh United and Aaron ‘Harry’ Corish of Carne FC.
Robert Vickers of Ferns United was honoured for a tremendous season with the Division 5 award, while fellow nominees Eddie O’Brien of Gorey Rangers and Ross Wilson of Ajax Athletic also enjoyed excellent campaigns.
The Under-19 award went to Liam Lynch of Gorey Rangers, ahead of Danny Roche of Kilmore United and Cian Murphy of Enniscorthy Town, while Jamie Keeley-Gregory won the Youths Premier Division prize, with Jack McNamara of Gorey Rangers and Eoghan Ó Lionáin of Wexford Albion also nominated.
Paddy Connors of Bridge Rovers was selected as the best performer in Youths Division 1, with Tadhg Brohan of Rosslare Rangers and Lee Kelly of All Blacks also making the shortlist.
Ben Smith of Corach Ramblers was honoured with the Youths Division 2 award, with Duncannon’s Jamie Foley and New Ross Celtic captain Lee O’Neill also nominated.
Max Meegan of Ferns United was named as the best player in Youths Division 3, finishing ahead of Joe Finn of Bunclody and Kevin Doyle of St. Joseph’s.
Outstanding Shamrock Rovers goalkeeper Paul Burns won the Youths Division 4 prize, with Aaron O’Brien of Forth Celtic and Ben Kelly of Oylegate United also nominated.
Meanwhile, three special recognition awards were also handed out on the night, with the immense contributions of T.J. Grant, Larry Kehoe and Danny Kearney recognised.
T.J. Grant, who recently stepped down as the Secretary of the Wexford branch of the ISRS, was a deserving recipient of an appreciation award.
Rosslare Rangers clubman Larry Kehoe received the Pat Whitty Special Merit award for his outstanding service and dedication.
The Wexford Football League also honoured long-time committee member Danny Kearney for his contribution to the game in the county with a Services to Football award.
The full list of winners is as follows:
Premier Division: Conor Bruce (Moyne Rangers); Division 1: Jason Murphy (North End United); Division 2: Patrick O’Shea (Ajax Athletic); Division 3: Shane Cassidy (All Blacks FC); Division 3A: Shane Lawlor (Rathnure United); Division 4: Ben Nugent (Kiltealy Celtic); Division 4A: Theo Doyle (Glynn Barntown); Division 5: Robert Vickers (Ferns United); U-19 Division: Liam Lynch (Gorey Rangers); Youths Premier Division: Jamie Keeley-Gregory (Shamrock Rovers); Youths Division 1: Paddy Connors (Bridge Rovers); Youths Division 2: Ben Smith (Corach Ramblers); Youths Division 3: Max Meegan (Ferns United); Youths Division 4: Paul Burns (Shamrock Rovers). Appreciation award: T.J. Grant. Pat Whitty Special Merit award: Larry Kehoe. Services to Football award: Danny Kearney.