The people of Derry and beyond have been voting in their droves, and the final three of this year’s Derry News Sports Personality of the Year has been confirmed.
Now one round of voting stands between the final trio and the title. Who will be your winner?
Have your say by voting in the poll below.
Michael McCrudden (Football)
2018 was one of the most successful in Institute’s illustrious history, and a lot of that was down to captain Michael McCrudden.
The striker led by example as ‘Stute dealt with having no home ground to finish the Championship season strongly, with McCrudden lifting the trophy in May.
Irish League football was back at the Brandywell in August for the first time in 50 years as Newry City came to town, and McCrudden ensured it was to be a winning day as he scored the game’s only goal in a 1-0 win.
That was just the start of it as the 26-year-old ended 2018 as the league’s top scorer, with 18 goals already under his belt, including goals against almost every team in the division.
Ben McCarron (GAA)
It was a year of firsts for 18-year-old Steelstown player Ben McCarron as he made his debut for both club and county at senior level.
He was part of the Oak Leafers’ first U20 panel and they made history – defeating Armagh 2-15 to 0-14 in the Ulster final in June, with McCarron knocking over two points. He was named in the Top 20 U20s contingent in the summer.
After featuring in the league for Steelstown, the forward found the net against Lissan in his first senior championship appearance, and he was also included in the Intermediate Team of the Year.
The Lumen Christi student featured prominently for Cathair Dhoire as they won their McLarnon Cup group, and now await a quarter-final at the end of this month. He was also Lumen Christi’s first ever recipient of an Ulster All-Star.
The Steelstown man ended the year on a high as he came off the bench and scored a point in Derry’s McKenna Cup defeat to Tyrone in Celtic Park on December 20.
Darren McCauley (Football)
Darren McCauley produced possibly his best year in football yet as he finished 2018 with silverware.
The winger was the Player of the Season for Coleraine as they ran Crusaders all the way in the league title race before beating Cliftonville 3-1 to lift the Irish Cup.
Top of the Hill native McCauley scored a sensational opening goal in that cup final, and it was one of 20 goals he scored for the Bannsiders in the season as he made 46 appearances – 44 of which were starts – and also registered 10 assists.
There was little rest for McCauley and his team mates, however, as they were back into action in July against Spartak Subotica, with McCauley opening the scoring in an historic 1-1 first leg draw in Serbia.
He ended 2018 as the club’s leading scorer for the current league campaign – his final act in a Coleraine shirt.
Voting will open on Thursday 17th January at midday. Voting will close on Friday 25th January at 5pm. The winner will be revealed in the Derry News on Monday 28th January.
Maximum of five votes per day.
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