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Darren Hughes picks up top prize

By John Campbell

Darren Hughes underlined his reputation as one of the top footballers in the province last month to such an extent that he won the Quinn Direct Ulster GAA Writers Association monthly merit award.

Hughes not only turned in a powerhouse performance when his Monaghan side surprised Kildare in Division Two of the National League but he also captained Ulster to the inter-provincial football championship title.

Hughes (24) has shown his versatility with Monaghan having served the side by playing in a variety of positions and now he is anxious to lead the side into Division One.

“We dropped down from the top section last year and we want to get back up there as quickly as we can,” insists Hughes.

A company representative, he won a Sigerson medal with UUJ and has also garnered other personal accolades.

“But this writers’ award is something special. I certainly did not expect to have been in the running for it never mind winning it. A lot of great players have won it and I am honoured to join their number,” says Hughes.

“I see it as an honour for myself, Monaghan and Ulster. It was terrific that the province won the inter-provincial football championship title given the commitment that the Ulster Council has been showing to this particular competition.”

In winning the award, he overcame stiff opposition. Owen Mulligan (Tyrone) and Liam Watson (Loughgiel) were in the hunt for the honour on the back of some outstanding performances in February.

Hughes received his prize from Quinn Direct representative Shane Wilson at a function in Quinn’s Corner Restaurant, Ballygawley.

The award includes an engraved Belleek Living vase, specially designed silver cuff links by Omeath jeweller Garrett Mallon, an UGAAWA Sports Voucher and training gear from O’Neill’s International Sports.

Hughes will also receive two complimentary tickets and overnight accommodation for the UGAAWA Silver Jubilee banquet, at the Great Northern Hotel on Friday, November 16.

Belfast Telegraph

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