Paddy McBrearty was fairly close to a hat-trick of awards in MacCumhaill Park yesterday. Michael Murphy, after another mammoth performance, particularly when he was most needed in the final quarter, got the Sky TV Man of the Match. With 1-6 to his name Paddy McBrearty would have run him fairly close but Paddy had a trio of celebrations in any case.
He marked his 100th appearance with the presentation of Derryveagh Crystal from Donegal chairperson Michael McGrath, while Gerry McLaughlin, on behalf of the Ulster GAA Writers Association, congratulated him on winning the June Monthly Merit Award and presented Paddy with a Belleek Parian China Vase, sponsored by Quinn Building Products. His third reason for celebration was, of course, a very satisfying performance as Donegal got off to a winning start in the 2019 Super 8s against a valiant Meath team that pushed Donegal all the way.
Along with Michael and Paddy, a third Donegal player – Ryan McHugh – also made the GAA team of the week.
A huge thank you to the legions of Donegal fans who turned up – attendance was 15,300 – and they made themselves heard particularly when Donegal need a lift midway through the second half. Go raibh míle maith agaibh, Tir Conaill abú.