Donegal’s Lazarus-like resurrection in the All-Ireland SFC during July was due to a number of factors, not least the brilliance of corner-back Karl Lacey and for his superb and crisp displays in three games he unanimously wins our

Quinn Insurance Merit Award for July. The 24-year-old Four Masters’ clubman was outstanding in the games against Derry and Galway when the bar was raised.

In the former clash, he held ace marksman Paddy Bradley to just one point while, against Galway, he confined Corrib crack-shot Michael Meehan to just two points from play.

“July was certainly a good month for Donegal and I’m delighted to win this award. There are so many good players out there and to be spotted as the winner is a great boost to me,” said Karl who has, of course, achieved quite a lot in his young football life.

To date, he has collected one SFC, one U21FC and two MFC medals with his club. With Donegal he gained a NFL medal and he captained the Donegal team to All-Ireland Vocational Schools FC success in 2002. He won a Railway Cup medal with Ulster and in 2006 gained an Allstar Award. At college level, he won three Sigerson Cup medals, one with UUJ and two with Sligo IT. Now he has achieved his first UGAAWA Monthly Merit award.

That was won despite quite a bit of activity in July when Sean Cavanagh starred with Tyrone in the Ulster SFC final, when Michael Murphy turned in super forward play with Donegal, when Tony Fawl was instrumental in Tyrone winning the Lory Meagher Cup in hurling and when the Tyrone ladies won the Ulster Senior Football title.

Karl Lacey, a sales rep with Walker Crisps, was unavailable to accept the award which was received on his behalf by Donegal manager John Joe Doherty. The award was presented by Fermanagh captain Marty McGrath, Quinn’s Area Sales Manager. Lacey receives a UGAAWA Sports Voucher, an engraved Belleek China vase, engraved silver cuff links by Gareth Mallon Omeath and training gear from O’Neill’s International Sports. He will also get two tickets and overnight accommodation for the UGAAWA annual banquet, at the Slieve Russell Hotel, on November 20.

©Conor McGonagle (Donegal Democrat)