GAA Football

Kilcoo's aim is to equal Burren's Down SFC six in-a-row says Conor Laverty

Séamus McMahon of Quinn Building Products and John Martin, chairman of the Ulster GAA Writers' Association, make the presentation to the September UGAAWA merit award winner Conor Laverty of Kilcoo
Picture by Peadar McMahon

THERE'S the matter of an Ulster Senior Football Championship quarter-final with Glenswilly to be dealt with in the near future, but Kilcoo have other aims on their agenda too.

Their chase is on to equal Burren's six in-a-row Down titles, won by the St Mary's during their reign of supremacy in the 1980s: “That surely is a major aim for us,” said will-o-the-wisp attacker Conor Laverty when accepting the Quinn Building Products UGAAWA Monthly Merit award for September.

“Winning the five in-a-row has been terrific, but it is a job in progress. We would dearly love to match Burren's great run away back in the 80s. That has got to be high on our agenda but, of course, it is first thing's first and our immediate aim is to progress in the Ulster Championship, Naturally, we were delighted with our win over Scotstown but Glenswilly is another major hurdle in front of us.”

Beating Scotstown didn't come into the equation for Laverty's Merit Award as the honour was earned for his deeds during September when Kilcoo defeated Clonduff to retain the title for a fifth year.

Wily attacker Laverty (31) played a major role in his club's march to the podium again. The lightweight front-line attacker not only cracked over scores of his own but made many others for colleagues, opening doors in the opposition defences.

“I'm delighted to have won this award for a second time,” said Laverty, “but it is an award for the whole team, a well as for me. It is fair to say that we were not favourites to retain the title but everyone buckled down to hard work and that has paid off.

“It is a great honour to be named the winner again and it is an honour for the club, as well, because everyone contributed to our success last month.”

Laverty, a GAA development officer at Trinity College, who travels to Dublin every day, opted out of the Down senior set-up this season after nine years in the red-and-black Mourne jersey.

“I have a young family, three boys under five-years-of-age, so I wanted to spend some extra time with them. The daily travel to my job in Dublin and then to county training during the week eat up a lot of time, so it was time to step down from county football,” he added.

The Kilcoo man beat off the challenge of Loughgiel hurler Tiernan Coyle for the award with special mention also given to Antrim footballer Eimear Gallagher and Scotstown man Seamus Mullan, coach of the Longford Ladies' team that won the All-Ireland JFC title.

Quinn Building Products sales and marketing director Séamus McMahon made the presentation at a function in Quinn's Corner, Donaghmore to Laverty, who receives an engraved Belleek Living vase, specially designed silver cuff links from Carlingford Design House, training gear from O'Neill's Sportswear and a medical bag from 3FiveTwo on behalf of Kingsbridge Private Hospital in Belfast.

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