All of Donegal is feeling a little down in the dumps this week following Sunday’s defeat by Kerry in Killarney. What a difference a week makes! After the win over Cork the previous weekend, we were all feeling good about ourselves.
A win in Kerry would have been a big bonus, and it was not one that if I’m honest I expected. It takes a good side to go to the Kingdom and come away with a positive result. It was made all the more difficult by the fact that they had been caught napping by Armagh in their previous home game and it was never going to be a case where they were going to get caught twice.
But we have to leave that game behind us, learn the lessons and move on and focus now on Mayo next Sunday in Ballyshannon.
I said it here after the defeat to Laois, all is not lost, and I repeat it again, a win over Mayo and we could be back in the race for a place in the semi-finals. That is how fine a line it is in what is a very competitive division.
Equally, if we were to lose Sunday’s game we would be in real relegation bother. Down’s win in Mayo at the weekend was not the one we wanted. But it is now a matter of getting up and getting on with it.
No more than Cork, I’m heartened by the fact that I cannot recall Mayo ever beating us in the league in Donegal.
However, that is not going to win the game for us we are going to have to go out and work for it and if we do I would be confident enough that we will. Mayo’s style of football suits us and I think the fact that it is in Ballsyhannon will suit us too.
But there is no getting away from it is a must-win game for us and the fact that they lost to Down on Sunday, will mean they will be anxious to get something out of the game too.
Results apart, the other disappointing aspect of the campaign so far is that with the exception of Marty O’Reilly, we do not seem to have unearthed any new talent.
I heard Kerry manager Jack O’Connor on the radio yesterday morning say that he had introduced four to five young players and that they had all done well and that was a big plus for him and Kerry.
Unfortunately, this is not something Jim McGuinness can boast about and is disappointing as it was generally felt at the end of last summer that we need to pick up a number of new faces if we were to build on last year’s great run.
Due to pressure for space, I did not have the room to mention the Donegal Person of the Year awards in Dublin last week.
It was a very enjoyable function and great credit must go to the Donegal Association for running a very successful function once again. I thoroughly enjoyed the night and it was great to meet up with Sean Ferriter and Antoin Carroll again and to reminisce about old times. I also had a good chat with Enda Bonner from Dungloe and I also saw Brendan Dunleavy in the crowd, two former county footballers also.
I was at the Connacht Colleges final on Saturday, in Ballyhaunis between Summerhill College from Sligo and St Jarlath’s of Tuam. My grandson Dara Long was on the Summerhill side but unfortunately they were pipped by a point in what was a very good game of football.
Finally, this week my sympathies to Brid Boyle, the wife of James’ Cookie’ Boyle of Annagry, one of the legends of Donegal football who passed away at the weekend.
I remember seeing his as a wee boy and I heard a lot about him down the years. He was a big man to me and along with Hughie Tim Boyle were two names and players that always fascinated me and two players I had great time for. Ar Dheis De go raibh a Anam.
Brian McEniff was in conversation with Tom Comack.