Losing to Tipperary in the NFL Division Two final, particularly in such controversial circumstances last Sunday, was a bitter pill for the Cavan lady footballers to swallow but midfielder Donna English has got an antidote to help ease the pain a little.
The Cootehill schoolteacher had been named as the Quinn Building Products UGAAWA Merit Award winner for April and 48 hours after the major Parnell Park disappointment she was presented with her award by Quinn Building Products Sales & Marketing Director Seamus McMahon. The reception took place at Quinn's Corner, Donaghmore.
“I am shocked but absolutely delighted to receive this award,” said Donna who has been 10 years in the Breffni county squad. “It is marvellous to be named the winner of last month's Merit Award and does take away a bit of the hurt after losing to Tipperary.
“After losing the Division Two final, in a replay, last year we hoped for better luck this time. We were very keen to get up into the top division as, playing against the best teams, is where you learn.
“However, we must now put the disappointment of defeat behind us and get on with our preparations for the Ulster championship game with Armagh next month. In the meantime, winning this award is delightful. It is nice to be recognised for the effort put in.”
Donna (28) from Arva was out of the game for a spell with a shoulder injury but stormed back to turn in starring roles, during April, in league games against Tyrone and Sligo and even against Waterford, although Cavan lost that game.
“Apart from last Sunday's defeat in the final, we have got to be pleased with the way that the season has gone for us,” added the Monthly Merit winner. “Now we must regroup and prepare for the Armagh game.”
It was Donna who captained Cavan to win the All-Ireland Intermediate Championship in 2013 and she added to her honours list by being in the Ulster Interprovincial team that collected the Interpro cup this year.
Pressing her for the April award was Oisin Smyth who scored four points, two of them magnificent efforts, against Rice College Westport for winners St Ronan's (Armagh) in the Hogan Cup final. Also getting support was Fermanagh minor footballer Dara McBryan.
As her award, Donna English gets an engraved Belleek Living Vase, training gear from O'Neill's International Sportswear and hand-crafted jewellery from Carlingford Design House. She will, also, receive two complimentary tickets to the annual UGAAWA Presentation function at the end of the year.