Quinn Products UGAAWA MERIT AWARD For July 2015

There is no simple way of picking a winner of the Quinn Building Products UGAAWA Merit Award for a month like July 2015. It was a month when both male and female football, hurling, handball and camogie was played at the highest level and when many individuals shone. A month of high octane action so the only way to pick a winner was through the old fashioned method of argument.

After a protracted period of that, the final vote fell in favour of MALACHY O'ROURKE, who masterminded Monaghan's nail-biting one point victory over Donegal in the Ulster SFC final, at Clones.

“That's a big surprise to me,” claimed Fermanagh man O'Rourke when told of the decision.  “Of course, I'm very honoured and delighted to win the award.

Marty McGrath, Quinn Building Porducts, and Gerry McLaughlin, UGAAWA make the presentation to Malachy. Pic: Peadar McMahon

It was a tight game but our players weathered the storm very well. I was delighted with the result, naturally, and this is a major bonus for me.”

When players shine often the manager's role is overlooked. The way that Malachy O'Rourke set up his team to deal with the various threats that Donegal presented was a master stroke.

Also, the way that he changed plans when the need arose and his use of his bench proved vital to Monaghan's victory. The players surely responded to their boss' ideas and promptings but without the carefully laid plans, and the steel nerve to carry then out, the Anglo Celt Cup might well be in Donegal for the next 12 months, rather than in Monaghan.

John P Graham, Gerry McLaughlin and Paddy Hunter, members of UGAAWA, along with Marty McGrath at the presentation to Malachy. Pic: Peadar McMahon

It took something a little different to win the Quinn Building Products UGAAWA Award for July and Manager Malachy provided that little bit extra.

He had strong opposition from Fermanagh's Tomás Corrigan who stood out in three games during the month with his spectacular goal against Westmeath a work of art. Conor McManus produced his now normal super show in the Ulster final, too, while Donegal hotshot Geraldine McLaughlin wasn't far behind when the Tir Connail ladies gained revenge over Monaghan in their Ulster final.

On the handball courts Maeve McElduff (Tyrone) and Declan Doherty (Monaghan) produced sterling stuff to claims places in the Ireland team for the World Championships in Canada this month and had to be considered, too, but, after debate, Malachy O'Rourke got the nod. This is his second such award as he was also the winner for April 2014.

Again, he receives an engraved Belleek Living Vase, gear from O'Neill's International Sportswear, specially crafted silver cuff-links from Carlingford Design House, a filled medical bag from Knightsbrook Hospital Belfast and two tickets plus overnight accommodation for the Ulster GAA Writers' banquet, at the Great Northern Hotel on Friday, November 13, 2015.

Malachy with his Belleek Living Vase, as part of his prize.

Pic:Peadar McMahon

The presentation to Malachy O'Rourke was made, at a function in Quinn's Corner, Ballygawley Road, Dungannon, on Monday, August 3, by Quinn Products Area Representative Marty McGrath who worked under the winner in his Fermanagh managerial days.

Click HERE to go to Podcasts