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Donegal dynamo Lacey scoops Ulster award

By John Campbell

Donegal have certainly acquired winning ways on several fronts. Not only has the team already won the National Football League Division Two title and the Ulster championship crown but a number of players have collected individual kudos.

Latest to take delivery of a significant honour is long-serving defender Karl Lacey who has just collected the Quinn Insurance Ulster GAA Writers Association monthly merit award for July.

His stunning performances against Derry in the Ulster final and against Kildare in the All Ireland quarter-final helped to thrust Lacey onto a pedestal and he saw off the challenge of Tyrone forward Mark Donnelly to lift the prize.

The 26-year-old Lacey had held down the left-full-back berth in the Donegal for several years but has been proving a revelation a centre-half-back of late.

His tackling, covering and distribution have made him one of the stand-out performers of the championship season to date and now his focus is on Donegal’s all Ireland semi-final against Dublin at the end of this month.

“Obviously the match against Dublin is creating a huge stir but we are just delighted to be involved.

“It’s very encouraging that in the build-up to a big game like this I should be getting the writers’ award,” said Lacey.

Two years ago he also picked up a monthly award and his current form is such that not only is he a worthy winner of the accolade but he is also in the running to be Ulster’s Footballer of the Year.

Not only did he play superbly against Kildare but he also scored a point.

“I just had to score as some of my team mates were getting on to me about my lack of scoring,” smiles Lacey.

“Others around me were getting scores so the pressure was on me to get in on the act. I’m glad I managed to get that point against Kildare. It was useful in the end.”

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