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Cork Con and Blackrock stars land the top gongs as AIL award winners announced

Brian Hayes and Hannah O’Connor took the Player of the Year awards.

CORK CONSTITUTION STAR Brian Hayes and Blackrock College ace Hannah O’Connor landed the top gongs as the Energia All-Ireland League [AIL] award winners were announced virtually last night.

mvps Big winners: Brian Hayes and Hannah O'Connor. Source: Inpho.

Hayes, who scored nine tries from the second row and finished the season as joint-top scorer after a glittering individual campaign, was named men’s AIL Player of the Year, while Leinster’s O’Connor landed the women’s equivalent after notching the most penalties in the Women’s AIL and making her Ireland debut earlier this year.

Hayes’ recognition comes as a fitting nod to Cork Con, the only team across the five men’s divisions to go through the season undefeated — although it concluded with immediate effect in March. Both awards were voted for by head coaches and directors of rugby across the league, as were the Rising Star accolades (winners listed below).

Kelvin Brown of Shannon RFC and UL Bohemians’ Alana McInerney won the Men’s and Women’s AIL Try of the Season awards, which were shortlisted and voted on by fans. Former Ireland international and Bohs boss Fiona Hayes was named Women’s AIL Coach of the Year, while Con’s Brian Hickey took the Men’s equivalent.

Source: Energia/YouTube

Two Dublin clubs, Railway Union RFC and Suttonians RFC, landed this year’s new and prestigious Positive Energy Award after their record attempt to stage the highest-ever paid attendance at a Women’s AIL clash, while Ballynahinch RFC from Down were presented with the Club Scene Award.

In terms of provincial breakdown of victories, Munster certainly dominated with seven of the 14 awards. The full list is below, and you can read more here.

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2019/20 Energia All Ireland League award winners

Men’s AIL Player of the Year - Brian Hayes, Cork Constitution
Women’s AIL Player of the Year - Hannah O’Connor, Blackrock College

Men’s AIL Coach of the Year – Brian Hickey, Cork Constitution
Women’s AIL Coach of the Year - Fiona Hayes, UL Bohemian

Men’s AIL Try of the Season - Kelvin Brown, Shannon RFC
Women’s AIL Try of the Season - Alana McInerney, UL Bohemian

Men’s AIL Division 1a Rising Star - Jack Crowley, Cork Constitution
Men’s AIL Division 1b Rising Star - Pa Ryan, Shannon RFC
Men’s AIL Division 2a Rising Star - Michael Orr, Queens University
Men’s AIL Division 2b Rising Star - Oran McNulty, Galway Corinthians
Men’s AIL Division 2c Rising Star - Nick Doyle, Enniscorthy
Women’s AIL Rising Star - Neve Jones, Malone RFC

Positive Energy Award - Railway Union RFC & Suttonians RFC
AIL Club Scene Award - Ballynahinch RFC.

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Emma Duffy

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