Two stars of Louth and Offaly's Championship campaigns joined the official GAA Player of the Month awards list today as first-time winners Paddy Keenan and Shane Dooley received their Vodafone-sponsored awards.
For Paddy Keenan, the award was recognition for his outstanding performances in Louth's Leinster SFC victories over Kildare and Westmeath in June, results which have made this Louth's best season in half a century.
Keenan's midfield partnership with Brian White has been the engine room for the Wee county's great resurgence and he particularly stood out against Westmeath, scoring three crucial points as Louth edged the semi-final by two and made it to their first provincial final since 1960.
Keenan has played a true captain's role throughout the summer and started as he meant to go on by kicking Louth's opening score of the Championship after just one minute of the encounter with Longford last month.
Meanwhile, the hurling award went to one of the most famous hurling families of recent decades as Offaly's Shane Dooley collected his first award on the back of his outstanding display in his county's drawn Leinster semi-final clash with Galway and another eye-catching performance in last Sunday week's narrow replay defeat.
Dooley provided one of the great moments of the Championship so far in the drawn game when he showed nerves of steel to earn his side a replay with a stunning pointed free from well over 70 yards, three minutes into injury-time.
Dooley, a son of current team manager Joe and nephew of triple All-Star and All-Ireland medal winner Johnny and double All-Star and All-Ireland medal winner Billy, finished the drawn game with 1-7 (1-6 from frees) to his name. He hit ten points, including two from play, in the replay.
His heroics in the drawn game had a real sense of déjà vu about them as he also saved Offaly in the first round clash with Antrim at the end of May by pointing an injury-time free to send the game to extra-time from where the Faithfuls pressed on to victory.
Congratulating both players, GAA President Christy Cooney said: "I am delighted to be here to jointly present these awards to both Paddy Keenan and Shane Dooley.
"Individually, and with their team-mates, they have provided us with memorable moments already this year. I am really looking forward to more from them over the remainder of the Championships and wish them every success."
On behalf of sponsors Vodafone, Head of Sales Fergus Devereux, who jointly presented the awards, added: "This year's awards are proving to be so enjoyable, not least because there is such an even spread among the counties.
"We have had ten winners so far this year and they have been drawn from eight different counties, which show just how competitive this season is in both codes.
"Paddy and Shane are worthy winners of their awards and we look forward to seeing more from them as the Championship continues."