Northern Ireland's sporting year in photos

Ruan Pienaar scored all of Ulster's points in their 22-19 away win over Leicester Tigers which saw them emerge from the Heineken Cup pool stages as top seeds
Ruan Pienaar scored all of Ulster's points in their 22-19 away win over Leicester Tigers at Welford Road which saw them emerge from the Heineken Cup pool stages as top seeds
Cliftonville beat north Belfast rivals Crusaders at Solitude to win the 2014 Wasp Solutions League Cup final in January
Cliftonville beat north Belfast rivals Crusaders 3-2 on penalties after a 0-0 draw at Solitude to win the League Cup final for the second year in succession in January
The Belfast Giants won their first Elite League title since 2006 in emphatic fashion
The Belfast Giants won their first Elite League title since 2006 in emphatic fashion with 10 league games to spare but went on to lose to Nottingham Panthers over two legs in the Challenge Cup final. Paul Adey departed as coach in April
Newtownards cyclist Martyn Irvine won a silver medal in the men's 50km scratch race at the World Track Cycling Championships in Cali, Colombia, his third world championship medal.
Newtownards cyclist Martyn Irvine won a silver medal in the men's 50km scratch race at the World Track Cycling Championships in Cali, Colombia, his third world championship medal.
Ireland won four of their five matches to win the Six Nations Championship and give the retiring Brian O'Driscoll the perfect send-off
Ireland won four of their five matches to win the Six Nations Championship and give the retiring Brian O'Driscoll the perfect send-off - only a narrow defeat by England prevented them from achieving the Grand Slam
Ireland batsman Ed Joyce starred with the bat as his side secured a famous six-wicket win over the West Indies in a Twenty20 clash at Sabina Park
Ireland batsman Ed Joyce starred with the bat as his side secured a famous six-wicket win over the West Indies in a Twenty20 clash at Sabina Park
Linfield beat Crusaders on penalties to win the County Antrim Shield final in March - a victory which gave David Jeffrey his 31st trophy success as manager of the Windsor Park club
Linfield beat Crusaders on penalties to win the County Antrim Shield final in March - a victory which gave David Jeffrey his 31st trophy success as manager, equalling the number achieved by former Blues boss Roy Coyle
Dame Mary Peters was among those who welcomed Kelly Gallagher home to Belfast after she won Paralympics GB's first ever gold medal at the Winter Games in Sochi in the visually impaired Super-G class
Dame Mary Peters was among those who welcomed Kelly Gallagher home to Belfast after she won Paralympics GB's first ever gold medal at the Winter Games in Sochi in the visually impaired Super-G class
French referee Jerome Garces was not flavour of the month at Ravenhill on 5 April as he sent-off Jared Payne for a dangerous tackle on Alex Goode in the early stages of Ulster's Heineken Cup quarter-final defeat by Saracens
French referee Jerome Garces was not flavour of the month at Ravenhill on 5 April as he sent-off Jared Payne for a dangerous tackle on Alex Goode in the early stages of Ulster's Heineken Cup quarter-final defeat by Saracens
Cliftonville top scorer Joe Gormley celebrates with the Gibson Cup and supporters after the Reds won the Irish Premiership for the second successive season
Cliftonville top scorer Joe Gormley celebrates with the Gibson Cup and supporters after the Reds won the Irish Premiership for the second successive season
Seaforde swimmer Bethany Firth came away from the British International Para-swimming meeting in Glasgow with an incredible four gold medals, six world records and six personal bests
Seaforde swimmer Bethany Firth came away from the British International Para-swimming meeting in Glasgow with an incredible four gold medals, six world records and six personal bests
David Jeffrey took charge of Linfield for the final time on an emotional afternoon at Mourneview Park in late April
David Jeffrey took charge of Linfield for the final time after 17 years at the helm on an emotional afternoon at Mourneview Park in late April
Dublin retained their National League Division One crown by beating Derry 3-19 to 1-10 in the Croke Park final on 27 April
Dublin retained their National League Division One crown by beating Derry 3-19 to 1-10 in the Croke Park final on 27 April
County Antrim-born jockey AP McCoy was crowned champion jockey for a remarkable 19th time
County Antrim-born jockey AP McCoy was crowned champion jockey for a remarkable 19th time in 2014
Monaghan overcame Donegal 1-16 to 1-10 in an all-Ulster Football League Division Two decider
Monaghan overcame Donegal 1-16 to 1-10 in an all-Ulster Football League Division Two decider
Madeline Perry made history by becoming the oldest player to retain a place in the women's world top 10. Perry celebrated her 37th birthday in February, two months after winning the Irish National Championship for a record 14th time.
Madeline Perry made history by becoming the oldest player to retain a place in the women's world top 10. Perry celebrated her 37th birthday in February, two months after winning the Irish National Championship for a record 14th time.
Glenavon beat Ballymena United 2-1 in the Irish Cup final at Windsor Park on 3 May
Glenavon beat Ballymena United 2-1 in the Irish Cup final at Windsor Park on 3 May - their first success in local football's premier knockout competition since 1997
Pink was the predominant colour as tens of thousands of spectators turned out to watch the Giro d'Italia international cycle race in May
Pink was the predominant colour as tens of thousands of spectators turned out to watch the Giro d'Italia international cycle race in May
Many of the world's top cyclists took part in the Northern Ireland leg of the Giro d'Italia against a backdrop of some beautiful scenery but in difficult conditions
Many of the world's top cyclists took part in the Northern Ireland leg of the Giro d'Italia against a backdrop of some beautiful scenery but in difficult conditions
Alastair Seeley secured a double on Thursday race night at the North West 200 by winning the Supersport and Superstock races
Alastair Seeley secured a double on Thursday race night at the North West 200 by winning the Supersport and Superstock races
Michael Dunlop took two victories on North West 200 on Saturday with successes in the Superstock event and Superbike race two
Michael Dunlop took two victories on North West 200 on Saturday with successes in the Superstock event and Superbike race two. The event was overshadowed by the death of leading English rider Simon Andrews.
Coleraine rowing brothers Peter and Richard Chambers secured a silver medal in the lightweight men's four final at the European Championships in Belgrade at the start of June.
Coleraine rowing brothers Peter and Richard Chambers secured a silver medal in the lightweight men's four final at the European Championships in Belgrade at the start of June.
Ulster were rocked by the news that David Humphreys was to leave his post as Director of Rugby to take up a similar position with English Premiership side Gloucester
Ulster were rocked by the news that David Humphreys was to leave his post as Director of Rugby to take up a similar position with English Premiership side Gloucester while Head Coach Mark Anscombe was sacked at the end of June
Michael Dunlop again dominated the Isle of Man TT by winning four races for the second year in a row including the blue riband Senior event
Michael Dunlop again dominated the Isle of Man TT by winning four races for the second year in a row including the blue riband Senior event
It was announced in June that Royal Portrush was to be added to the roster of venues for The Open Championship, with 2019 the earliest date at which the famous golf tournament could take place over the north coast links
It was announced in June that Royal Portrush was to be added to the roster of venues for The Open Championship, with 2019 the earliest date at which the famous golf tournament could take place over the north coast links. Earlier in the year it was revealed that Royal County Down would host the 2015 Irish Open.
Jonathan Rea took his fourth race win of the year at Portimao in Portugal on his way to finishing third overall in the World Superbike Championship
Jonathan Rea took his fourth race win of the year at Portimao in Portugal on his way to finishing third overall in the World Superbike Championship
Jordanstown girl Stephanie Meadow finished in a superb third place in the US Open, her first ever tournament as a professional.
Jordanstown girl Stephanie Meadow finished in a superb third place in the US Open, her first ever tournament as a professional. Meadow finished three shots behind tournament winner Michelle Wie to earn $270,000 on her pro debut.
Antrim saw off the challenge of Derry in the Ulster Senior Hurling decider
Antrim saw off the challenge of Derry in the Ulster Senior Hurling Championship decider to continue their dominance of the provincial competition
Portrush man Graeme McDowell notched up another European Tour success by retaining his French Open title in July
Portrush man Graeme McDowell notched up another European Tour success by retaining his French Open title in July - he went on to win all of his three matches as Europe retained the Ryder Cup in the autumn
Donegal proved too strong for Monaghan in the Ulster Senior Football Final at Clones on 20 July
Donegal proved too strong for Monaghan in the Ulster Senior Football Final at Clones on 20 July, running out 0-15 to 1-9 victors and exacting revenge for their defeat by the Farney County 12 months earlier
Rory McIlroy holds aloft the Claret Jug after sealing the first of his two major victories in 2014 at the Open Championship at Hoylake
Rory McIlroy holds aloft the Claret Jug after sealing the first of his two major victories in 2014 at the Open Championship at Hoylake. The Holywood man, who also won the PGA Championship at Wentworth, finished two shots ahead of Sergio Garcia and Rickie Fowler
Northern Ireland's Lisa Kearney won a bronze medal in the -52kg women's judo category in Glasgow by beating Canadian Audree Francis-Methot.
Northern Ireland's Lisa Kearney won a bronze medal in the -52kg women's judo category at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow by beating Canadian Audree Francis-Methot.
Mandy Cunningham and Barbara Cameron show off their Commonwealth Games bronze medals which they won in the Women's Pairs
Mandy Cunningham and Barbara Cameron show off their Commonwealth Games bronze medals which they won in the Women's Pairs
Paul Daly, Neil Mulholland and Neil Booth won silver in the Men's Triples bowls at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow
Paul Daly, Neil Mulholland and Neil Booth won silver in the Men's Triples bowls at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow
Michael Conlan and Paddy Barnes won boxing gold medals at the Commonwealth Games with seven other boxers claiming medals in Glasgow
Belfast fighters Michael Conlan and Paddy Barnes won boxing gold medals at the Commonwealth Games with seven other boxers claiming medals in Glasgow
Ireland's women's rugby team caused a major upset by beating New Zealand in the Women's Rugby World Cup on their way to finishing fourth in the competition. Their 17-14 victory in Marcoussis inflicted New Zealand's first defeat in a World Cup for 23 years. The Irish women lost 25-18 to hosts France in the third-place match.
Ireland's women's rugby team caused a major upset by beating New Zealand in the Women's Rugby World Cup on their way to finishing fourth in the competition. Their 17-14 victory in Marcoussis inflicted New Zealand's first defeat in a World Cup for 23 years. The Irish women lost 25-18 to hosts France in the third-place match.
New Zealander Bruce Anstey was a double winner at the Ulster Grand Prix at Dundrod in August
New Zealander Bruce Anstey was a double winner at the Ulster Grand Prix at Dundrod in August
World number one Rory McIlroy won his second USPGA Championship at Valhalla
World number one Rory McIlroy won his second USPGA Championship at Valhalla in August, edging put American Phil Mickelson by one shot
Paralympians Jason Smyth and Michael McKillop were double gold medallists at the IPC European Championships in Swansea
Paralympians Jason Smyth and Michael McKillop were double gold medallists at the IPC European Championships in Swansea. Smyth won the 100m and 200m in the T12 category after being re-classified from the T13 category he had dominated since 2006 just days before the Games. McKillop came home first in the 800m and 1500m T38 events.
Aileen Reid ended her season on an impressive note as she finished fifth in the World Triathlon Series's concluding event in Edmonton in Canada
Aileen Reid ended her season on an impressive note as she finished fifth in the World Triathlon Series's concluding event in Edmonton in Canada. Reid's performance left her eighth overall in the 2014 World Series after taking sixth in the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
Belfast's Carl Frampton beat Spaniard Kiko Martinez to win the IBF world super bantamweight title in front of thousands of spectators at Titanic Quarter in September
Belfast's Carl Frampton beat Spaniard Kiko Martinez to win the IBF world super bantamweight title in front of thousands of spectators at Titanic Quarter in September
Niall McGinn was one of the goalscorers as Northern Ireland began their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign with a 2-1 win over Hungary in Budapest
Niall McGinn was one of the goalscorers as Northern Ireland began their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign with a 2-1 win over Hungary in Budapest
Donegal lost to Kerry in the All-Ireland Football final after pulling off a shock but well-deserved win over Dublin in their semi-final
Donegal lost to Kerry in the All-Ireland Football final after pulling off a shock but well-deserved win over Dublin in their semi-final
Graeme McDowell and Rory McIlroy were part of the Europe team which retained the Ryder Cup by beating the USA at Gleneagles
Graeme McDowell and Rory McIlroy were part of the Europe team which retained the Ryder Cup by beating the USA at Gleneagles - though captain Paul McGinley opted not to pair the compatriots in the foursomes or fourballs
Jim McGuinness stepped down from his position as Donegal manager just a few weeks after his side lost to Kerry in the All-Ireland Final
Jim McGuinness stepped down from his position as Donegal manager just a few weeks after his side lost to Kerry in the All-Ireland Final
Northern Ireland beat the Faroe Islands in October in the only international to be played at Windsor Park during 2014
Northern Ireland beat the Faroe Islands 2-0 in October in the only international to be played at Windsor Park during 2014
Colin Turkington was crowned British Touring car champion in October, beating his nearest rival by 35 points. He had previously won the series in 2009.
Colin Turkington was crowned British Touring car champion in October, beating his nearest rival by 35 points. He had previously won the series in 2009.
Jamie Ward found the net as Northern Ireland made it three wins from three qualifying games by beating Greece 2-0 in Athens
Jamie Ward found the net as Northern Ireland made it three wins from three qualifying games by beating Greece 2-0 in Athens
Derry City reached the final of the FAI Cup final - but lost 2-0 to St Patrick's Athletic
Peter Hutton's Derry City reached the final of the FAI Cup final - but lost 2-0 to St Patrick's Athletic at the Aviva Stadium
Antrim snooker player Mark Allen reached the finals of two ranking tournaments in 2014 - losing to Stuart Bingham in the Shanghai Masters final and to Ricky Walden in the final of the International Championship.
Antrim snooker player Mark Allen reached the finals of two ranking tournaments in 2014 - losing to Stuart Bingham in the Shanghai Masters final and to Ricky Walden in the final of the International Championship.
In November, thousands of spectators turned out at the Kingspan Stadium for the Ulster Select v Dublin challenge match organised by former Antrim Gaelic footballer Anto Finnegan to raise funds for the Motor Neurone Disease Association
In November, thousands of spectators turned out at the Kingspan Stadium for the Ulster Select v Dublin challenge match organised by former Antrim Gaelic footballer Anto Finnegan to raise funds for the Motor Neurone Disease Association
Derry side Slaughtneil won their first ever Ulster Senior Club Football Championship title by beating fellow first-time finalists Omagh by a single point at the Athletic Grounds
Derry side Slaughtneil won their first ever Ulster Senior Club Football Championship title by beating fellow first-time finalists Omagh by a single point at the Athletic Grounds
Ireland completed a successful season by defeating Southern Hemisphere giants South Africa and Australia in the autumn international series at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin
Ireland completed a successful season by defeating Southern Hemisphere giants South Africa and Australia in the autumn international series at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin