Just over 140 people enjoyed the Railway Annual Ball last Saturday at the Ballsbridge Hotel, with players from all teams across the club, Legends, members and guests gathering to celebrate a fantastic season.
The excellent host, Ed Morane, set the tone for the evening by referring to the impressive array of silverware on show and spoke of the club winning five trophies across four different teams and with five teams in semi-finals or finals of their respective cups.
Each of the winning teams, the Girls U18s, Women's 2s, Men's 1s and Women's 1s were called up to accept their trophies and medals in front of their peers, with a standing ovation and sustained applause for the Women's 1s for their first All Ireland Cup win.
A new generation of stars were honoured with some hotly contested Player of the Year awards. Eve Higgins, who that afternoon made her Leinster U18s 7s debut, took the Girls U18 Player of the Year, whilst Damian Keogh, Danielle O'Sullivan and Graham Hawkins won the Men's 3s, Women's 2s and Men's 2s Player of the Year respectively. Martin Larisste received the Men's 1s award, with Cliondhna Moloney taking the Women's 1s equivalent.
John Handley, Kevin Lewis, John Nolan, Niall Lester and Melissa Slevin were inducted to the '100 Caps Club' by Ciaran O'Brien, who spoke eloquently about each of them and their contribution to the club. Slevin became the first female player to be inducted by the Legends committee and her announcement was well received on the night.
Head of Player Welfare John Ryan presented the 'Overall Club Most Improved Player' award. John spoke of having seen all teams in action this year and name-checked a number of players in each side who were in contention. Tom Newman, in his first season in Railway after graduating from CUS, was the man called up to accept the trophy.
Fred Barber was on hand to present the 'Young Potential Award' for the Damian Reade Memorial trophy and presented the specially-commissioned solid silver trophy and medal to Ali Nolan.
The final award of the night, the JJ Murphy Memorial Trophy for Club Person of the Year, was awarded to Pat Noonan who was widely recognised as a worthy winner.
The party went until the very early hours and a fantastic time was had by all.
A huge thanks must go to to Ed Morane for organising such a great night. The amount of work that goes on behind the scenes cannot be underestimated and Ed took on all the tasks in his stride.