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Linda takes the top award after Donaghmoyne's triumph

By John Campbell

Ulster's reputation for nurturing top-class goalkeepers has been further enhanced - but on this occasion by a female of the species.

Linda Martin, a busy haulage company administrator, took time off from overseeing the operation of a small army of trucks to help cement Donaghmoyne's victory in the All-Ireland Ladies Club football final against Cork side Mourneabbey by producing a series of superb saves in a frenetic 10-minute closing spell.

And Linda's heroics have now earned her the first Quinn Building Products Ulster GAA Writers Association Monthly Merit Award of 2016.

"The final minutes were certainly nerve-wrecking," recalled Linda after she had been presented with her trophy at a ceremony in Quinn's Corner Restaurant, Ballygawley.

"It seemed as if the shots were coming in from all angles. But thankfully we managed to survive to collect the All-Ireland title again."

It's the fourth time that Donaghmoyne ladies have brought the trophy home. It seems they take a breather and celebrate their success for a year, after each victory, as they have won the trophy in 2006, 2009, 2012 and 2015.

"I don't know what it is but it seems every third year has been our successful year. It is strange but that's the way it has happened," smiled Linda.

She has been in the Monaghan senior squad for over 10 years, since her teens, and has collected quite a haul of awards during that time.

Among the prizes are 13 Monaghan SFC medals, seven Ulster senior medals, three interprovincial championship medals and an All Star accolade.

Linda was awarded the honour ahead of Tyrone's Ronan O'Neill, following his displays in the O'Fiaich Cup, and St Eunan's star Niall O'Donnell who won the Player of the Tournament award in the Ulster Club Minor Football event.

Belfast Telegraph

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