Reliable defender Freyne nets a double at Nortel’s awards night

Nortel's David Freyne, seen here in action against Shankill United.  Photo: Philip McCloy
Nortel's David Freyne, seen here in action against Shankill United. Photo: Philip McCloy

Finishing third-from-bottom in the Amateur League’s top-flight, there wasn’t the championship challenge of the previous season, but at least Nortel achieved their main objective of staying in the Premier Division.

That in itself meant there was something to celebrate at their annual presentation night when defender David Freyne walked away with two of the top awards.

Last year’s manager Paul Foy resigned during the summer, to become Mark Snodden’s assistant at Dundela, heralding yet another return for Ricky Beggs.

With quite a few new recruits, there was initial success as Nortel were unbeaten in the league until losing to Kilmore in mid October.

However, another seven successive league defeats followed and by the time of their next win - against Ardglass in February - Lee McCartney was in charge.

The return of players such as Jordan Clarke, Dale Fenner and Kris Malone gave some impetus to the run-in.

But scoring goals was a big problem for Nortel all season. Their top marksman’s award went to Mark Wilkinson, who missed the second half of the season through injury and whose last goal came at Downshire in the Clarence Cup at the start of January.

Awards: George McKane Cup for the Second Team Players’ Player of the Year; Patrick Doherty; Jim Hooks Cup for Second Team Manager’s Player of the Year, Steven Murray; Paul Malone Cup for Second Team Leading Goalscorer, Dale Fenner

Laurence Scott Cup for First Team Leading Goalscorer, Mark Wilkinson; Gary Gourley Memorial Cup for Players’ Player of the Year, Chris Monteith; Freddie Cole Memorial Cup for Manager’s Player of the Year, David Freyne; Slemish Cup for Supporters’ Player of the Year, David Freyne; Brian Smyth Memorial Cup for Clubman of the Year, Kris Malone.