2019 has been a rewarding year for sport in Ireland. There have been many successes for athletes, teams and people involved in Irish Sport. Irish sport personalities bring pride and joy to the Irish public when there is success on and off the sports field. Irish sport stars have represented our nation immensely throughout 2019. From the huge success of Shane Lowry winning the British Open to the senior Irish Women’s hockey team qualifying for the Olympics in 2020, as Irish fans we have a lot to be proud of.
Lowry wins the claret jug
One of the biggest success stories of 2019 has been Shane Lowry’s golfing performance at the British Open in Royal Portrush. In July 2019, The Offaly man finished on 15 under to win the coveted Claret Jug, seeing off competition from Tommy Fleetwood. It was the biggest win of Lowry’s career after winning the Irish Open back in 2009 when he was only an amateur.
Katie Taylor World Champ
On 2 November 2019, Taylor became a two-weight world champion after defeating Christina Linardatou by unanimous decision for the WBO junior-welterweight title at the Manchester Arena. The Wicklow native has now won 15 fights out of 15 in her professional career. Following her victory against Delfine Persoon in June 2019, she became one of only seven boxers in history (both male and female) to hold all four major world titles in boxing – WBA, WBC, IBF and WBO.
The Dubs win 5 in a row
The Dublin senior county team claimed their 5th All Ireland football title in a row back in September after beating Kerry by 6 points in a replay, after both teams ended level in their first encounter. Like a runaway train, the Dubs have looked unstoppable in the last 5 years. Jim Gavin arguably made this Dublin team one of the greatest in the history of the sport. It will be interesting to see what a change in management in the New Year will mean for this impressive outfit.
Tipp beat the Cats
The Tipperary senior county team overcame Kilkenny after beating the Kilkenny Cats by 14 points back in August. The Liam Mccarthy came back to Tipp for the 28th time in their history after showing their quality of hurling throughout the All Ireland championship. Liam Sheedy’s Tipperary side will be hard to defeat again in the New Year as they will look to defend their All Ireland crown.
The Irish women’s hockey team qualified for Tokyo 2020 after defeating Canada at the start of November. It was a nerve shredding climax for the Irish public after their team squeezed past Canada in a pulsating 4-3 penalty shootout win. The sides played out two scoreless draws for the game to go to penalties. This is the first women’s hockey team for Ireland to qualify for the Olympic Games. Tokyo here we come!
Dundalk yet again became League of Ireland champions after seeing off competition from Shamrock Rovers. The Lillywhites earned their 14th league title with four games to spare. They also secured the League cup after defeating Derry City but were denied the treble after losing out to Shamrock Rovers in the FAI cup final. Dundalk ended the season in high fashion after victory against Linfield of Northern Ireland in the inaugural Champions Cup. Dundalk defeated Linfield 7-1 on aggregate in a two legged tie, with both teams playing home and away.
Shamrock Rovers ended their 32 year wait to lift the FAI cup after they defeated Dundalk 4-2 on penalties at the Aviva in November. The game finished 1-1 after extra time after two late goals from both sides at the end of normal time. This was Shamrock Rover’s 25th FAI cup crown and would have been worth the wait for many of their fans. The Tallaght side will be encouraged with this year’s performance on the pitch and will be hoping for a league title in the coming years.
Leinster overcome Glasgow
Leinster won their 6th Pro14 title after defeating Glasgow 15-18 in Celtic Park, edging past the Scottish side to win their second consecutive Pro14 trophy. Cian Healy had a man of the match performance in a sold out Celtic park. Leinster will look to continue their good form into the New Year as Leo Cullen will be determined that more titles will come his sides way.
It’s fair to say that 2019 has been a year of ups and downs for sport in Ireland. As sports fans, we’ve reached some of the highest of highs, but also lowest of lows throughout the course of the year. 2020 promises to be a massive for Irish sport and we can’t wait to share the journey with you. All at IRISH SPORT TV wish you a very happy and prosperous New Year. Let’s hope its a good one for sport on the island of Ireland!