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Beggan nets award but team glory the real aim

 

By John Campbell

Rory Beggan admits he was devastated when his Monaghan side were pipped by Tyrone in the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship semi-final earlier this month.

The 26-year-old goalkeeper has been one of the Oriel County's stand-out performers this year, combining his athletic prowess between the posts, an almost impeccable kick-out strategy and his uncanny accuracy from long-range frees.

But there is compensation on the horizon for Beggan who is a full-time GAA coaching officer.

He may have just collected the Quinn Building Products Ulster GAA Writers Association monthly award, but he is now likely to find himself figuring strongly in the race for an even more coveted All-Star award.

While he admits that personal kudos are always welcome, Beggan still feels the hurt following his team's fall to Mickey Harte's side by the narrowest of margins.

"You could say that our fate was in our own hands and, while we were disappointed for ourselves and for our manager Malachy O'Rourke, we were even more disappointed for the people of Monaghan who had given us such wonderful support all through the Championship season in particular," said Beggan.

In winning the writers' prize, Beggan fended off a strong double-pronged challenge from Tyrone forward Niall Sludden and Donegal skipper Michael Murphy, both of whom have been outstanding lately with their respective counties.

Beggan will return to duty with his club Scotstown on Sunday for an important Monaghan county championship game against in-form Carrickmacross at Clontibret (6.15pm).

"It will be good to get back into action again," he admitted.

"It's always great to link up with your friends and neighbours at club level and hopefully we can get our hands on another title.

"If we were fortunate enough to achieve that and then get into the Ulster club championship, it would certainly keep the action going until later in the year."

"Maybe after that I will get a little break before focussing on county football again. We are all hoping that our manager will be with us for another year at least because he is nothing less than inspirational in every sense."

In all, six Scotstown players are in the Monaghan squad and Beggan hopes that they and perhaps one or two others will be involved at the higher level next year.

"The fact that we have won a couple of Ulster titles lately has shown us what we are capable of so the challenge for us now is to push on from there," stated Beggan."

"Obviously the pressure has been stepped up with teams like Tyrone and Donegal now very much to the fore, and the other counties are also very anxious to try and claim a share of glory."

He received his Ulster GAA Writers' Association award from Quinn Building Products Sales and Marketing Director Seamus McMahon.

His award consists of an engraved Belleek Living vase, hand-engraved silver cuff links from Carlingford Design House and training gear from O'Neill's International Sports.

He will also receive two complimentary tickets to the next Quinn Building Products Ulster GAA Writers Association annual awards presentation function.

Belfast Telegraph

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