UGAAWA MERIT AWARD For February 2013

Sometimes February is not the most exciting of months in GAA terms with the ‘weather man’ often disrupting the action. It was different this year, however, as many high profile matches were contested and many outstanding displays were given.

One of the best performances of the month was that of Armagh’s Ciarán McKeever who played a captain’s role in hauling the Orchard County off its knees to scratch out an unbelievable draw with Wexford in the Allianz National Football League.

No doubt, the hat-trick of goals rocketed home by Gavin McPartland, at the Athletic Grounds, was eye-catching and played a major part in Armagh storming back to snatch a 3-8 to 3-8 draw for the Ulster side’s first league point of the season. However, it was McKeever’s strong play, maybe a bit too strong in Wexford eyes, that was the launching pad for the miraculous comeback by a team that was 11 points down, late in the first half.


Ciaran McKeever with his award and Peadar McMahon, Sec. UGAAWA.
Pic: Oliver McVeigh

The Cullyhanna St Patrick’s club player was also in form for Ulster as the Saffrons beat off a second half rally by Munster in the M Donnelly Interprovincial Football semi-final. It was Sean Cavanagh who sent over the winning point but two late points by attacking defender McKeever were the crucial scores.

For those high profile performances, Ciarán McKeever wins the Ulster GAA Writers’ Merit Award for February 2013 and receives an engraved Belleek Living vase, specially designed silver cuff links by Omeath jeweller Garrett Mallon and training gear from O’Neill’s International Sports.

Other notable displays were given during February by Pascal McConnell (Tyrone), Colin Walsh (DIT and Monaghan) and Sean Quigley (Fermanagh). It was also noted that Cookstown Fr Rocks stepped up to win the All-Ireland IFC final and that St Paul’s Bessbrook, in their first senior season, progressed in the Dr MacRory Cup.

Ciaran is pictured here with his Belleek award.
Pic: Oliver McVeigh

Patrick Nugent, Armagh County Secretary, joins Peadar McMahon, UGAAWA Secretary, in congratulating Ciaran McKeever.
Pic:Oliver McVeigh