May is known as 'The Mad Month' and so it was this year with so much high-powered action in GAA circles. There were championship matches in football and hurling and championship football replays. Because of that the choice for our Tennents Monthly Merit Award was wide and varied. Claims could be made for many players with Sean Marty Lockhart giving excellent displays with Derry, Sean Cavanagh ruling midfield roost for Tyrone at Casement Park, Graham Clarke turning in an absolute blinder with Down in the USHC semi-final, Colm Coyle piloting Monaghan to victory over Ulster and All-Ireland champions Armagh, Darren O'Hare's two-goal bullet for Antrim, Damian McDermott's scoring blitz with Tyrone minor footballers and Michael Lyng's performance with Cavan minors - just some of the highlights of last month. It was a tough and argumentative choice to come up with a winner but it had to be done and the winner is Sean Marty Lockhart who was outstanding in the two games against Tyrone in the Bank of Ireland USFC.

Any player who can hold wizard Peter Canavan, acknowledged as the best forward in Ireland just now, scoreless from play in two consecutive games surely merits recognition. There was no argument in the end as to our May Merit winner with the solid Derry defender getting the nod, deservedly so. "I'm delighted to be honoured with this award," enthused the St Patrick's (Maghera) PE teacher. Sean Marty has been a magnificent defender with Derry for quite a number of years now and no greater tribute can be paid to him than to put his name alongside that of Tony Scullion.

Lockhart has won many honours with his county and has represented Ulster and Ireland. Many more honours are sure to come his way. As his Tennents Merit Award, he receives a sports voucher from Tennents Ireland, training gear from Pro*Star Sport, an engraved Belleek China vase and two tickets to the UGAAWA annual banquet in Bundoran on November 14 next.

The presentation was made to Sean Marty Lockhart at a reception in the Ulster Brewery on Wednesday, June 4.

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