Quinn Products UGAAWA MERIT AWARD For December 2015

Linda was awarded the honour ahead of Tyrone's Ronan O'Neill, following his displays in the O'Fiaich Cup, and St Eunan's star Niall O'Donnell who won the Player of the Tournament award in the Ulster Club Minor Football event.

The presentation was made at Quinn's Corner, Donaghmore, by Quinn Building Products Area Manager Marty McGrath.

As her award, Linda Martin gets an engraved Belleek Living Vase, training gear from O'Neill's International Sports, hand-crafted jewellery from Carlingford Design House, a medical kit from 3FiveTwo on behalf of Kingsbridge Private Hospital and two tickets plus overnight accommodation to the next Quinn Building Products UGAAWA annual banquet.

December used to be a quiet month in GAA circles but not any more. The scene is alive nowadays with competitions like the O'Fiaich Cup in men's senior football, various Ulster underage club tournaments and many more events in full swing.

Last month, we also had the All-Ireland Ladies' Club Football final when Donaghmoyne defeated Mourneabbey from Cork, by three points, after a pulsating last ten minutes and from that game comes our Quinn Building Products UGAAWA winner for December. Nobody played a bigger part in that victory than Donaghmoyne goalkeeper LINDA MARTIN, who saved her team a number of times as the Corkonions searched for a crucial goal.

“The final minutes were certainly nerve wrecking,” recalls Linda, a Haulage Contractor Administrator, “but, thankfully we survived to collect the title again.”

It's the fourth time that Donaghmoyne ladies brought the trophy home. It seems they take a breather and celebrate their success for a year, after each victory, as they have won the trophy in 2006, 2009, 2012 and 2015. “I don't know what it is but it seems every third year has been our successful year. It is strange but that's the way it has happened,” muses Linda.

She has been in the Monaghan senior squad for over 10 years, since her teens, and has collected quite a haul of awards during that time. Among the awards are 13 Monaghan SFC medals, seven Ulster senior medals, three interprovincial winners awards, an Allstar, etc., etc.Now she adds to the list with the December Merit Award for which she is very grateful. “It is a very prestigious award to get, especially as a goalkeeper. It's not often that goalkeepers are recognised individually so that makes getting it a bit more special,” enthused the winner.