URSC Player of the Season 2017-18

IN A LANDSLIDE VICTORY, THE WINNER WAS,

JOHN COONEY

PHOTO: DicksonDigital.com / Ulster Rugby

URSC President Willie John McBride presented John with the famous Bob Sloan sculpted award at the Ulster Rugby Awards Dinner. He also handed over the now mandatory framed caricature by legendary artist Stan Dupp, which Willie-John had personally inscribed and signed.

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JC & WJMcB admire Stan’s artwork

The URSC award is voted for by members, and any player who has played for the province during the season is eligible.

PotS Vote Eight players received votes, but John was the runaway winner with nearly 82% of votes cast. Jacob Stockdale received 10.5% of votes and Rory Best was third with 4.5%.

Luke Marshall, Louis Ludik, Nick Timoney, Iain Henderson and Alan O’Connor also received support.

It wasn’t just URSC members who acknowledged John’s remarkable performances in his debut season at Ulster in which he scored 211 points in 24 appearances. He also picked up two other awards, namely  Rugby Writers’ Player of the Year award and the B.o.I. Ulster Player of the Year.

URSC congratulates John Cooney and looks forward to seeing him turn in more of the same next season. No pressure John!! (Sure he thrives on it anyway).

 

Also at the Awards dinner at La Mon Hotel….

URSC thanked those players who have served Ulster faithfully over the past years and are now retiring: Tommy Bowe, Robbie Diack, and Paul Marshall all received URSC inscribed Galway Crystal vases and an appropriate Stan Dupp print.

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Tommy received his party bag from committee member Colin Wild

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URSC Chairman Jonathan Bill managed to present Robbie with his, even without the use of (former URSC presenter) David Halleren’s step ladder

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… and Paul was simply mobbed by committee members Lynn Wilson, Yvonne Bell and Ken Arthur. (Thanks To JB for operating the Box Brownie on this one.)

Andrew Trimble 4

 

Andrew Trimble would have received similar, but managed to show the speed and strength that has made him a legend over the years by escaping the proceedings before URSC could get to him … on second thoughts, evading URSC doesn’t exactly require strength or speed … but we will track  him down and thank him on behalf of URSC members whether he wants to be thanked or not!

 

 

FINALLY, FINALLY … and simply because Stan Dupp and the Editor of Stand Up wanted to do this, we also presented an “Unsung Hero” award to one of Ulster’s finest who never gives less than 100% on the pitch. While these two may have decided it was merited, on the night we could not find a single person (or even a married one) who disagreed with the award. Our Unsung Hero Award went to Louis Ludik.

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Louis seemed to be genuinely chuffed to be recognised as our “Unsung Hero” and was delighted to receive a token of our appreciation from Colin Wild. Not just an unsung hero on the pitch, but a thoroughly decent and nice guy off it!

Our thanks as ever go to all who have voted for our URSC awards throughout the season, to our president, Willie-John McBride for presenting and once again regaling us with some wonderful anecdotes, and especially to Mr Stan Dupp who has again used his skill, his time and his sense of humour to bring delight to players and supporters alike.  We salute you Mr Dupp!

(If you want to see the detail of his artwork, see below)

PotS 17-18 Cooney 1 small

Tommy Bowe 3

Paul Marshall 1 s

Robbie Diack 2 small

 

2018 Montage 1

Louis Ludik 1s