Dunloy, Ballymena

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Team of the Year 2019

The field has been whittled down to fifteen.

Indicative votes have been noted and taken into account, consultation taken with various sources and the decision is done.

Remember, it's just a bit of fun...

...I'll just duck for cover.

Powered by SNC Health & Fitness Kilrea.
Cúl Báire | Goalkeeper

Ryan Elliott | Cúchullain's Dunloy

Elliott played a key role in Dunloy winning back the Antrim SHC title and shone in many aspects of goalkeeping.

His puck-outs arrowed their way into the hands of mobile Dunloy forwards, he was comfortable under a dropping ball and pulled off a number of excellent stops throughout their campaign.

Even when the rare mistake came as it did in the county final, the Antrim stopper had the resilience and confidence to respond and launch an immediate attack.

Right Corner Back | Lánchúlaí ar Dheis

Oran McGill | Watty Graham's Glen

The Glen corner back was tenacity personified throughout their league and championship journey as the Watties reached their first Derry SFC Final.

Tasked with tracking some of the county's trickiest attackers, McGill offered little quarter and his resolve was particularly tested in the opening round against The Loup when corner back partner Oisín Hegarty was dismissed after just 17 minutes.

Full Back | Lánchúlaí

Sean Cassidy | Roibeard Eméid Sleacht Néill

Cassidy was leader, organiser and inspiration at the heart of the Sleacht Néill defence. Given little trouble in their opening round win over Lavey, the full back had to be at his steadfast best in the final against Kevin Lynch HC.

With the Lynches smelling an upset and attacking at will, Cassidy's organisation was crucial in ensuring their dominant spell was weathered and provided the springboard for their late finishing rally.

Left Corner Back | Lánchúlaí ar Chlé

Ruairí Diamond | Naomh Éanna

The best corner backs in hurling play from the front and this is where Diamond spent much of Naomh Éanna's successful Antrim and Ulster IHC campaigns.

With pace, aggression and no little skill, the corner back shone amid a talented young Hightown defence and emerged from numerous rucks with possession in hand to find a man with accuracy.

Right Half Back | Leathchúlaí ar Dheis

Cormac Ross | Naomh Éanna

Ross played a captain's role as Naomh Éanna clinched the Ulster IHC title and the half back was responsible for a string of superb displays at the heart of their defence.

The Hightown half back line was almost impenetrable and not only was Ross a key cog in that defensive success.

He also hit crucial scores including the extra-time point in Hannahstown that eventually broke Bredagh's resolve.

Centre Half Back | Leathchúlaí ar Lár

Justin Crozier | Erin's Own Cargin

The quiet composure at the heart of the Cargin defence, Crozier helped drive Erin's Own to lift their second Antrim SFC title in a row.

Crozier's no-nonsense approach saw him lock horns with some of the county's best attackers and provide the catalyst for a number of his own side's attacks as he broke in possession.

'Justy' came close to last year's Team of the Year after he was nominated but eventually pipped to the post by Kevin Lynch's Richie Mullan.

Left Half Back | Leathchúlaí ar Chlé

Conor Kearns | O'Donovan Rossa Magherafelt

One half of Rossa's raiding half back line axis, Kearns found himself on the edge of the opposition box as often as his own.

Kearns hit 1-02 throughout the championship including an early goal that proved enough to edge out a stubborn Banagher in the Semi-Final.

Capped a fine season by being named the Co. Derry Post's Senior Footballer of the Year last week and adds a place on the Unit Updates Team of the Year to that.

Midfield | Lár na Páirce

Danny Heavron | O'Donovan Rossa Magherafelt

Captaining Rossa to their first Derry SFC title in 41 years, Heavron was a driving force in their midfield alongside Jared Monaghan and the roving Emmett McGuckin.

His leadership and determination were decisive in the battle with Eoghan Rua in the opening round and he drove them on when games were in the proverbial mixer.

Heavron was a key link as Rossa transferred defence into attack and found their speedy runners over and over.

Ciaran McFaul | Watty Graham's Glen

Taking Man of the Match in their Quarter-Final win over Lavey, McFaul was a force of nature in midfield for the Watties.

Revolving with Emmett Bradley and finding himself among the scorers consistently, the all-action midfielder led his side to their first Derry SFC Final and will be key as they attempt to reach another in 2020.

Just edged out Sleacht Néill's Chrissy McKaigue for this particular slot.

Right Half Forwarad| Leath-Tosaí ar Dheis

Conall Delargy | Casement's Portglenone

Brimming with energy, Delargy needed all his reserves as Portglenone embarked on a mammoth Antrim SFC campaign, but had it not been for him their run would have ended in Ahoghill against St John's.

Delargy's late point sealed the draw and he repeated the trick with a penalty in the dying seconds in the first game of three against Lámh Dhearg.

The clinical half-forward also nailed two frees in the infamous shootout. Nerveless composure personified.

Centre Half Forward | Leath-Tosaí ar Lár

Cormac O'Doherty | Roibeard Eméid Sleacht Néill

O'Doherty catches the eye with his deadly accuracy from frees and this aspect of his game alone makes the Sleacht Néill attack a formidable one, but there is much more to his ability.

In between hitting 1-39 in this season's championship, COD's overall forward play unlocked defences repeatedly and he drew special praise from manager Michael McShane after the Ulster SHC win over Dunloy.

Will be pivotal to the Derry champions' assault on the All-Ireland series.

Left Half Forward | Leath-Tosaí ar Chlé

Eoghan Duffy | O'Brien's GAC Foreglen

A tireless runner, Duffy is the link man that every team would love.

Throughout Foreglen's run to the Derry IFC title, the half-forward ploughed furrows from deep and set up attack after attack.

He also managed to notch crucial scores and pull out the occasional outrageous piece of skill, as seen in the Derry final.

Right Corner Forward | Lán-Tosaí ar Dheis

Paddy Cunningham | Lámh Dhearg

Cunningham famously hit 11 points in Antrim's 2009 Ulster SFC Final against Tyrone and ten years on that killer touch is still torturing corner backs.

The evergreen Hannahstown attacker had an outstanding season as his side navigated a host of replays to narrowly miss out on the Antrim SFC title against Cargin.

His most memorable point was caught on camera during the Semi-Final replay against Casement's at the Dub, a huge effort from out on the left flank.

Full Forward | Lán-Tosaí ar Lár

Noreen Graham | St Mary's Ahoghill

Ahoghill camógs tasted Ulster success as they took home the Bridie McMenamin Shield with victory in a thriller over Lavey.

Graham's late goal, rocketed into the top corner, broke the Derry side's resolve and formed part of 2-02 she hit on the day.

With over 10 championship goals to her name, the St Mary's sharpshooter has had a remarkable season at 14 and is a hugely prolific operator.

Left Corner Forward | Lán-Tosaí ar Chlé

Emmett McGuckin | O'Donovan Rossa Magherafelt

McGuckin's knack for hovering at the back post and finishing to the net saw him nab the goal that finished off champions Eoghan Rua in the Derry SFC.

The Coleraine FC striker spent much of the championship campaign bolstering the Rossa midfield and was a crucial component of their winning run.

His performance in the Derry SFC Final was particularly effective and the forward picked up the Man of the Match award before taking home his John McLaughlin medal.

Manager | Bainisteoir

Michael McShane | Roibeard Eméid Sleacht Néill

The traditional swagger returned to Seacht Néill's hurling this year after a 2018 to forget for the now 7-in-a-row winning Derry Senior Hurling champions and McShane deserves a lot of credit.

They fired a warning in the opening round by hitting 1-32 and the Ballycastle native drawing the best out of his charges all over the pitch throughout, including the intuitive deployment of Jerome McGuigan at full forward.

Disclaimer | Séanadh

So there it is, the 2019 Unit Updates Team of the Year and remember I can only give what I see.

It may or may not have gone the way of the Twitter polls, but either way, you'll get the Peoples' Choice delivered later today. Keep an eye out!