At this time of year there is never a shortage of choices to pick from when nominations are in for our Monthly Merit Award. With male and female football, hurling, camogie and handball on the menu various names crop up for consideration.

That’s what happened last month and when the nominations were chewed over one name floated to the top. That name was Karl Lacey who seems to be able to shake off his injuries and return to his wily ways with Donegal. The Four Masters’ man was top of his form again in the Ulster Championship clash with Derry to snuff out the huge threat of Oak Leaf skipper Mark Lynch.

Gerry McLaughlin, UGAAWA, and Patricia McCauley, Belleek Living Pottery, present the Belleek Living Vase to Karl

“I was disappointed that Mark scored a point off me late in the game,” recalled Karl who was, once more, displaying his trademark dashes up front to set up colleagues for possible scores. He added: “Getting this award is a big surprise for me and I am delighted. Getting past Derry was a big plus for Donegal and this award adds greatly to the victory.”

This is the third time that Lacey (29) has collected the honour. He was also the winner in July 2009 and July 2011 and he won our Player of the Year award for 2011.

After overcoming a hip injury in December 2012, Karl suffered a knee injury in a club match. He is, presently doing a Master’s Degree in Sports Studies at UL and travels up to Donegal for the regular weekly training and for club games.

He is, of course, looking forward to the Ulster semi-final against Antrim and he looks upon this award as a milestone boost on the way. To get the honour he had to beat off stiff opposition from Antrim star hurler Paul Shiels plus Tyrone players Sean Cavanagh and Mattie Donnelly.

Philip McGlynn, Great Northern Hotel, Bundoran, congratulates Karl on his award and welcomes him to the UGAAWA Banquet in the hotel on Saturday, November 1st.

The presentation of an inscribed Belleek Living vase, engraved cuff links from Omeath jeweller, Garrett Mallon, training gear from O’Neill’s International Sports and a sports voucher from the UGAAWA was made to Karl at a reception in the Great Northern Hotel. He will also get two tickets and overnight accommodation for the UGAAWA’s 27th annual banquet at the Great Northern on November 1.