UGAAWA MONTHLY MERIT AWARD FOR JUNE 2009

The ‘Fairytale of New York’ has nothing on this year’s ‘Fairytale of the Ulster SFC’ as Antrim pulled off an amazing trip to the Ulster final this month. An away win over Donegal and a neutral victory over Cavan to open the door to the provincial final against Tyrone left the Saffrons as the story of June 2009.

With that in mind, an Antrim player just had to be the winner of our Quinn-Insurance/UGAAWA Merit Award for June but who would it be was the big question.

Many players were in the running but in the end it boiled down to a decision between Terry O’Neill and Michael McCann. Eventually Terry O’Neill got the nod.


“It’s brilliant to be recognised but this award is more to do with the team performances than with me personally,” stressed the St Gall’s utility man who played a roving role in both games and scored a superb individual point against Cavan.”It is true to say that a lot of our players would have deserved the award but I’m delighted that I have been recognised. No-one expected us to reach the Ulster final.”


Getting a special mention, also, were hurlers Justin Kelly (Tyrone), scorer of 1-29 in the Larry Meagher Cup, Shane McNaughton (Antrim) and Simon Wilson (Down).

The Milltown man may not have many county trophies to show for his talents but he has gathered many honours during his years in the blue of St Gall’s. During the last two years he captained his club team to win the Antrim SFC title, bringing his total of medals in that competition to seven. The 25-year-old Belfast schoolteacher has also an Ulster Club medal, five Antrim U21 trophies and one Antrim minor award. He played club hurling at minor level, as well, but decided to concentrate fully on football.

Before an Antrim county training session at Creggan Kickham’s Complex, Malcolm Crawford, Regional Sales Manager Quinn Insurance presented Terry with his Merit Award of a Belleek China engraved vase, a sports voucher, and engraved silver cuff links from Omeath jeweller Gareth Mallon. He will later receive training gear from O’Neill’s International Sports and two tickets plus overnight accommodation for the UGAAWA banquet in the Slieve Russell Hotel on November 20.

HELPING HANDS-

Antrim's Terry O'Neill receives the Quinn-Insurance/UGAAWA Merit Award for June with a little help from Rachel and Ryan Toal, presenting the award were Jerry Quinn, Chairman UGAAWA, Malcolm Crawford, regional sales Manager Quinn Insurance, with  Liam Bradley Antrim Manager.

Picture Michael Cullen

Top picture:

Antrim's Terry O'Neill receives the Quinn-Insurance/UGAAWA Merit Award for June from Jerry Quinn, Chairman UGAAWA, and Malcolm Crawford, regional sales Manager Quinn Insurance, with  Liam Bradley Antrim Manager. Picture Michael Cullen

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