BASS/GAA WRITERS' MERIT AWARD FOR NOVEMBER '02


November was dominated by the long-running AIB Ulster Club quarter-final serial featuring Errigal-Ciaran and Crossmaglen Rangers and the two semi-finals.

Errigal-Ciaran were, of course, also involved in the latter as they dethroned All-Ireland champions Ballinderry while Enniskillen Gaels reached the provincial final again by beating Gowna. The only other notable achievement was the near success of under-strength Ulster footballers in the Railway Cup.

Since Errigal-Ciaran was constantly under the microscope their players had to be on form and a number of them came into the reckoning for our November '02 Bass Merit Award but the player who caught the eye constantly was centre-forward MARK HARTE.

The Belfast-based third year Liberal Arts undergraduate at St Mary's led the attack, as a centre-forward should. He scored 1-7 in the first match against Crossmaglen, contributed a few points in each of the other battles with the Rangers but didn't score against Ballinderry.

Yet, that was probably his best game of the month as he distributed the ball with accuracy to his forward colleagues and set up many scores. Indeed, the job of a No.11 is to bring his other attackers into the game and provide them with opportunities.

"I'm shocked at getting this award because of so many good performances by other players during the month. Of course, I'm delighted and it puts me into a league with great players who have won this award in the past," enthuses Mark (23).

He has now won three Tyrone senior football championship medals with Errigal-Ciaran and an Ulster medal. He has also collected an All-Ireland Under-21 honour and a Tyrone championship award at the same level and a Ryan Cup runners-up medal with St Mary's.

It should be noted that last Sunday's Ulster Club final was played in December and, therefore, doesn't come into the reckoning for this Bass Merit Award.

Others in the running for the November honour were Errigal-Ciaran players Peter Loughran, Barry O'Donnell and Peter Canavan plus Enniskillen's Tom Brewster who picked up his second 'Man of the Match' award in the club championship against Gowna.

Mark Harte received his award at a reception in the Ulster Brewery on Wednesday, December 4 when he was presented with sports vouchers from Bass Ireland and Pro*Star Sport plus an engraved Belleek China vase.

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