‘It’s back to the drawing board’ - Murphy

Donegal captain Michael Murphy was naturally bitterly disappointed at the final whistle but was making no excuses afterwards.

Donegal captain Michael Murphy was naturally bitterly disappointed at the final whistle but was making no excuses afterwards.

“It is disappointing,” the Glenswilly man said.

“We did not plan that to happen coming down here. But that’s what happens.”

Speaking to the media huddle outside the Donegal dressing room under the Hogan Stand before boarding the team bus, Murphy said the goal before half time was a sucker punch.

“We were playing rightly up to that and motoring along nicely and really looking forward to the test in the second half,” he said.

“I thought we did well defensively against them in the first half and came back well into the game with a couple of points after they had gone three up,” he added.

“The timing of the first goal, that was the real killer and instead of going in a point down we went in four points down, at half-time.

“A four point lead at half-time was a big lead and then when they got the second goal they went seven up.

“We were in the game until they got the goals. Fair play to them they have quality players all over the park and they did the harm today and good luck to them now in the semi-final against Dubin.”

“The goals either side of half-time really knocked the stuffing out of us and credit to Mayo. The goals also meant that we had to come out and chase the game and this left openings at the back. They pushed on and probably got in for a few scores that they wouldn’t have if we had been able to stick to the game plan. “

The Donegal captain was not in the mood for taking refuge in Donegal’s five-game route to the last eight.

“It was not a factor at all. It was just the way the championship panned out. You can make all you want about provincial championships.

“We value the Ulster Championship as a valuable competition and it is one that we enjoyed success in over the last couple of years. It is the one we also have had a fair share of disappointment in with a couple of final defeats.

“But it’s still there to be challenged for and we are going to go back and challenge for it again next year without a shadow of a doubt.

“No matter whatever road you have to take to get over the line, you always do what you can. It didn’t happen for us today. We came up short this year in the Ulster final and we came up short in the All-Ireland quarter final.

“It’s now a case of back to the drawing board and keep battling on keep the flag flying and hopefully we will get back here again next year.”