QUINN Building Products UGAAWA MERIT AWARD For July 2016

It has been a disappointing weekend for Sean Cavanagh but we hope that we can put a little sparkle back in his eye, as we name the Tyrone captain our winner of the Quinn Building Products Merit Award winner for July.

Last Saturday's action doesn't come into the equation. What happened last month is all that matters at this stage and few can argue that the Moy man was not outstanding during July. His leadership of the Red Hands during the crunch provincial final was an education in captaincy. Tyrone were put to the test against an eager and determine Donegal squad that looked as if they might regain the title when they led heading for home.

It was then that Captain Cavanagh showed his true form. Operating around midfield he won crucial ball, broke down Donegal possession and put pressure on the losers' defence.

One action turned the game in Tyrone's favour. It was a levelling point from far out as Sean, with a couple of players tackling, turned and drove the ball over the bar. How did he manage that point?

“I don't really know,” he confessed. “My father-and-law died a fortnight earlier and he must have been up there blowing the ball over the bar.”

Within minutes Peter Harte rifled over another amazing point, from over 50 yards, for the lead and Tyrone were on their way, heading to the rostrum to receive the Anglo Celt Cup.

“That was a fabulous point by Peter,” recalled his captain.

Both players were instrumental in Tyrone's victory over Cavan in the replayed semi-final last month, as well, with Harte's double goal strike a major plus for the winners.

It seems strange that we must go back to September 2008 to find the last time that Sean Cavanagh received the UGAAWA Monthly Merit Award but that can be as a result of the all-round strength of the Tyrone panel.

To win this award, Sean Cavanagh had to fight off the claims of team mate Peter Harte and Monaghan ladies' team manager Paula Cunningham, with Patrick McBrearty (Donegal), Ryan McHugh (Donegal) and Niamh O'Neill (Tyrone) also considered.

The July winner will, as usual, receive an engraved Belleek Living vase, specially designed silver cuff links from Carlingford Design House, training gear from O'Neill's International Sports and a medical kit bag from 3FiveTwo on behalf of Kingsbridge Private Hospital in Belfast.

The presentation was made to the winner by Quinn Building Products Sales & Marketing Director Seamus McMahon at a reception in Quinn's Corner, Donaghmore, Dungannon, on Monday, August 8.

Seamus McMahon, Sales and Marketing Director for Quinn Building Products in Ireland, presents the Belleek Living Vase to Sean Cavanagh, winner of the Quinn Building Products Ulster GAA Writers Monthly Merit Award. With them is John Martin, Chairman of the UGAAWA and Mickey Harte.

Garrett Mallon, Carlingford Design House, presents Sean with specially designed Cufflinks as part of the award. Also in picture are: John Martin and Mickey Harte.

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An Interview with Sean, conducted by Sean McCaffrey, Northern Sound Radio, can be accessed on Podcast page  HERE