TENNENT’S/UGAAWA MERIT AWARD FOR OCTOBER ‘08


It is the time of year when club championships take centre stage and when players often show their best form. October was no exception to the rule with many fine performances given, sometimes in rather difficult conditions.


Such was the case in Casement Park when Cushendall and Ballygalget clashed in the final of the AIB Ulster Club Hurling Championship and both sets of players defied the stormy, bitter cold and rainy conditions.


No player better than Cushendall attacker SHANE McNAUGHTON whose contribution to ‘Dall’s success was superb. He cracked over three great points that, in the end, proved to be winning scores in the final.


Against Dungiven in the semi-final, Shane proved to be even more effective as his super goal and point just before half-time gave his team a two-point interval lead. He netted again midway through the second half and on the hour sliced over a sideline cut.


Shane finished the month with a high profile performance in the Railway Cup against Munster as he hit the net again.


“It was a very good month for me, indeed, and this award really tops it off,” said builder Shane (20). “I really enjoyed the games. The managers at both club and county level give me a free rein to rove around the attack and I like that.”


He has been in the Cushendall senior panel since the age of 15 and has been three years in the Antrim senior squad. To date, he has won two Ulster and three Antrim senior medals plus three Ulster Minor awards and a Walsh Cup medal. He has also collected an Ulster Bank Colleges’ Allstar award.


For the October Tennent’s/Ulster GAA Writers’ Award Shane beat off the challenges of Clonoe football manager Damian Cassidy and Clonoe full-back Aidan Brady. Also getting favourable mention was St Gall’s midfielder Aidan Gallagher and the Ballymena All-Saints team that won the Antrim Intermediate Championship.


Shane McNaughton received his award of a Tennent’s Sports Voucher, an engraved Belleek China vase, specially designed silver cuff links by Omeath jeweller Garrett Mallon and training gear from O’Neill’s International Sportswear.  The presentation was made by Ray McIlroy at the Ulster GAA Writers’ banquet in the Hillgrove Hotel on Saturday, November 1.


Cushendall Ruairi Og's hurler Shane McNaughton, centre, is presented with the October Tennent’s/Ulster GAA Writers’ Award by Jeff Tosh, Sales Director, Inbev Ireland, left, and Tom McCusker, Managing Director, Inbev Ireland, at the Ulster GAA Writers’ banquet in the The Hillgrove Hotel, Leisure & Spa, Monaghan.

© Oliver McVeigh / SPORTSFILE