Donegal star Murphy lays down the law to bag top award
Donegal skipper Michael Murphy has received the perfect pre-Ulster Final boost with confirmation that he is the winner of the Ulster GAA Writers' Association June monthly merit award.
It's a fifth writers' accolade for Murphy which puts him within touching distance of the record holder, former Tyrone star Peter Canavan who boasts six awards.
Murphy's majestic performances against Armagh and Derry in the Ulster Championship - the final is on Sunday week - saw him streak ahead of the field in the race to the honour while his qualities of leadership underline the special influence he wields both on and off the field of play.
His free-taking, particularly against Armagh, was right out of the top drawer while his ability to drop deep and win vital possession proved an important element in Donegal's overall strategy.
Modesty, though, continues to underscore his whole approach.
"I have missed a few frees, too," he points out.
"And I know that there must have been many other people very worthy of this award. That, of course, makes it more precious and I'm very thankful to get it. It is always very pleasing to receive it."
He adds: "We will have to up our performance a lot for the final against Monaghan as what we have shown so far would not be near good enough.
"Certainly our performance against Derry would not do as Monaghan are a very good team and they will be on home turf."
Murphy beat off strong competition for the Quinn Building Products-backed UGAAWA prize.
Among those in the hunt were his county compatriot Yvonne McMonagle who fired home 6-5 in an Ulster Ladies Football Championship clash against Down, Monaghan's Conor McManus and Fermanagh's Eoin Donnelly.
The presentation was made to Murphy in his Letterkenny sports goods store by Quinn Products Donegal area manager Damian Mone, the winner receiving the Belleek Living engraved vase, silver cuff links from Carlingford Design House, training gear from O'Neill's International Sports, a Medical Kit Bag from 3fivetwo and two tickets plus overnight accommodation for the UGAAWA banquet at the Great Northern Hotel on Friday, November 13.