Corner-forward McDonnell was the man who polished off Fermanagh in the final replay with a late goal while he had a real star game in the drawn match, setting up the second half-goal for Ronan Clarke and adding a quick-fire point to give Armagh an eight points lead.

“I’m really shocked at getting this award,” said 29-year-old attacker Stevie when told of his selection. “It was a big month and other Armagh players like Paul McGrane and Ronan Clarke deserved it as much and me. There were also great performances from Marty McGrath of Fermanagh and Monaghan’s Paul Finlay but I will gladly take any award that is offered to me.”

Killeavey man McDonnell, a Contracts Manager with Recruitment Service Sources, has now tucked away seven Ulster Senior Championship medals plus All-Ireland and National League awards with Armagh.

At club level he has won two Armagh minor championship medals and an under-21 medal and was named at corner-forward in the 21st Anniversary team selected from the players who competed in the Ulster Minor Tournament organised by the St Paul’s Club in Belfast.

“I’m one of the lucky ones in the game,” commented Stevie whose third Merit Award this is. He is also a former UGAAWA ‘Footballer of the Year’

McDonnell won the vote against Paul McGrane, Ronan Clarke and Rory Woods (Monaghan) and was presented with the Tennent’s Ireland Sports Voucher, Belleek China engraved vase, specially designed silver cuff links by Omeath Jeweller Gareth Mallon and training gear from O’Neill’s International Sportswear. The presentation, at a reception in the Ulster Brewery on Wednesday, August 6, was made by Joe McGrane, Key Accounts Manager InBev Ireland.

He will also receive two tickets and overnight accommodation for the Ulster GAA Writers’ 21st annual banquet at the Hillgrove Hotel, Monaghan, on Saturday, November 1.

July always supplies much fodder for discussion regarding our Tennent’s Monthly Merit Award but, of course, the Ulster Championships and the All-Ireland qualifiers take pride of place.

The Ulster SFC final gave us two days of action and food for thought with many players figuring in the arguments but in the end, after a serious of close voting, the gong was sounded for Stevie McDonnell.