When an Ulster team is involved, one occasion always dominates the September GAA scene. It's the All-Ireland football finals but when we have two teams in the senior decider its not only historic but also double domination.

Naturally, it was from the Sam Maguire Cup final on September 28 that our Tennents Merit Award winner had to come but who it would be was not just crystal clear. Players from both Tyrone and Armagh had to come into consideration but after much debate the winner emerged as KEVIN HUGHES.

Kevin was the dynamo in midfield for new All-Ireland champions Tyrone as he roved far and wide and distributed the ball intelligently to his colleagues all over the field. He proved to be the ideal partner for Sean Cavanagh and the perfect linkman between defence and attack

"It is great to get any award but special to get this one. It's a highly regarded reward among players and I'm delighted to receive it," enthused the 23-year-old Killeeshil clubman.

Engineer Kevin has now completed the full set of All-Ireland championship medals have won at minor, under-21 and senior levels. For good measure he has also won an All-Ireland Vocational Schools' medal and a Sigerson Cup medal - the latter with UUJ in 2001.

For this latest honour Kevin overcame a stout challenge from team colleague Conor Gormley and team manager Mickey Harte.

As his award he was presented at a function in the Ulster Brewery on Wednesday, September 8 with sports vouchers from Tennents Ireland and Pro*Star Sport, an engraved Belleek China vase and two tickets for the Ulster GAA Writers' 2003 banquet.

The presentation was made by Bass Regional Manager Seamus Horisk who just happens to be a celebrating Tyrone man.

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