Westmeath footballer Kieran Martin and Tipperary hurler John 'Bubbles' O’Dwyer have been named the GAA/GPA Opel Players of the Month for June.
The players were both pivotal in leading their counties to provincial finals last month.
Westmeath have been one of the the surprise packages of the championship, and Martin has proved a key player for the Lake County, bagging an impressive 1-02 from play in his side’s 1-21 to 0-15 triumph over Wexford.
But it was his match-winning performance against rivals Meath that grabbed all of the headlines - he scored 2-03 from play as Westmeath spectacularly overturned an eight-point deficit at half-time to claim their first ever championship victory over their neighbours.
Speaking at the awards, Martin said; “It is a great honour and I’m thrilled to have been named the GAA/GPA Opel Player of the Month for June. It was a fantastic month for Westmeath football, and I’m extremely proud to have contributed to it. We’ve made huge progress this year which we’re all hoping will continue into the future.”
Originally a doubt for the game after picking up an ankle injury in training, O’Dwyer played through the pain barrier and produced a masterclass as Tipp beat Limerick at the Gaelic Grounds for the first time in ten years.
As well as setting up team-mate Seamus Callanan for a goal, Bubbles knocked over some spectacular points on his way to scoring 0-07. The Premier County went on to claim their fifth Munster title in ten years at the weekend, beating Waterford on a scoreline of 0-21 to 0-16, with O’Dwyer adding 0-05 to his scoring tally for the year.
O’Dwyer said: “It's a very satisfying feeling to have been named the GAA/GPA Opel Player of the Month for June. It’s always nice to be recognised individually, but it was very much a team effort against Limerick.
"We hadn’t won there in ten years, so we really had to focus and apply ourselves in order to break that record and get ourselves into the Munster final.”