When September comes around thoughts always turn to All-Ireland finals and last month there were a number of outstanding displays by Ulster players on the hallowed turf of Croke Park. Down senior footballers, Tyrone minors, Donegal and Tyrone ladies all displayed their talents at headquarters and while some were successful and others weren’t they all done the province proud.
We had plenty to choose from when selecting our QUINN-INSURANACE/ UGAAWA MERIT AWARD for September 2010 but, in the end, the nod went to flame-haired JOHN McCULLOUGH, who revelled in his roving role at full- forward in Tyrone minors’ defeat of Cork. ‘Unbelievable’, ‘this is fantastic’, ‘you must be kidding’ are just some of the exclamations that John uttered when told of his award. “I never even thought that I would be in the running for this big award. I saw Ronan (O’Neill) getting it last month and I never would have believed that I would be next. It’s a tremendous honour and I am really excited about getting it,” enthused the Greencastle player who, apart from the Ulster and All-Ireland minor medals, has won two Tyrone U21 championship awards.
McCullough won the September award by just a nose from Donegal full- forward star Yvonne McMonagle who netted a massive 2-5 during the Tir Connail victory over Waterford in the All-Ireland Ladies’ Intermediate final, a tally that hasn’t been reached in a final for many, many years. Also in the mix were Down ‘keeper Brendan McVeigh and Tyrone U18 manager Raymond Munroe. Omagh CBS student McCullough hit four points in the minor final but also created a lot of space for his forward colleagues because of his roving tactics.
John McCullough received his award of a UGAAWA Sports Voucher, an engraved Belleek China vase compliments of the Belleek Pottery, specially designed silver cuff links from Omeath’s Garrett Mallon and training gear from O’Neill’s International Sports at a presentation in Quinn’s Corner on Monday, October 4. The presentation was made by Declan Reilly, Quinn Insurance Commercial Sales Manager.