GAA Football

Monthly award tops off a great period for Donegal's returning star Patrick McBrearty

GAA writer Gerry McLaughlin pictured with monthly merit award winner Patrick McBrearty
Tony McGee

PATRICK McBrearty seems to have planned his summer activity well. Laid low with a knee injury he was out of action during the National Football League and resisted the temptation to rush his return to active service with Donegal. His planning was well timed as he is back and buzzing through defences like of old.

“I missed the whole National League and it was agony watching the games but the boys did very well to gain promotion back to Division One,” reflected the Kilcar star.

“My aim was always to get fit again for the championship and, thankfully, I managed that. I took the decision not to rush back in case of doing further damage,” explained McBrearty (25) who collected his fifth Ulster Championship medal when Donegal defeated Cavan by 1-24 to 2-16, at Clones.

“I'm glad that I took my time to get fully fit again. I am now feeling back to where I was and the Donegal team is moving well.

The GAA action always hots up during the summer months, even if the weather doesn't always match the temperatures. June 2019 was no exception.

Throughout the month there was a constant stream of top notch matches in men's and women's football, hurling and camogie and in handball Paul Brady stormed back into action to win the USHA National Singles title for a record equalling 11th time.

The likes of Donegal captain Michael Murphy, flying winger Jamie Brennan, scorer-in-chief Geraldine McLaughlin and others turned in sparkling performances last month in the Donegal colours. There were many other excellent displays, as well, from players around the province to ponder.

At the end of the arguments the gong sounded for Patrick McBrearty who returned to active service with Donegal, after a 10-month lay-off with a knee injury, in the Championship against Fermanagh and again proved how important he is to the Tir Chonaill side.

As usual, McBrearty, notched some telling scores from left and right, five points with four from play in the final, but his value to the Donegal cause went much further than his scoring. McBrearty's running off the ball and pin-point passing was a feature of all his performances last month and earned him the Quinn Building Products UGAAWA Monthly Merit Award.

“I'm really delighted with the award,” he said. “I have seen other players in the team winning it and I admired the honour. Winning the award really caps my return from injury and us winning the Ulster title again. It is a great boost to me, personally.”

Now McBrearty and his Donegal team-mates are battling in the Super 8s and, in many quarters, are tipped as the main danger to Dublin's hopes of a record fifth consecutive All-Ireland SFC title. Donegal have started well in the round robin Super 8s with defeat of Meath, last Sunday, when McBrearty smashed home a spectacular goal and added six points.

He was, also, named Man of the Match and has put his hand up high for the July Merit Award, already.

As his June award Patrick McBrearty gets an engraved Belleek Living vase, compliments of the Co Fermanagh pottery, special hand-crafted silver cuff links from Carlingford Design House and training gear from O'Neill's International Sportswear.

The presentation was made to the winner, by UGAAWA member Gerry McLaughlin, after Donegal's defeat of Meath at Ballybofey on Sunday.

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