Donegal manager not happy with free count in semi-final

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Donegal manager not happy with free count in semi-final

Donegal manager Micheál Naughton was pulling no punches when he spoke after Saturday’s game.

The Donegal boss did not spare referee Eugene O’Hare and felt that Donegal had to work harder for frees than Cavan.

“This is championship football and it is not sour grapes, but 23 frees for Cavan and seven for us tells the story,” said Naughton.

In fairness to the Down official he did let the game flow and took a lenient view to a number of hefty challenges on both sides.

Donegal  struggled to cope with the Cavan attack any time they ran at them.

“The girls were hit and this is supposed to be a non contact sport,” Naughton said.

However, the Donegal boss paid tribute to his own players and the character they displayed to fight their way back into the game when it seemed to have slipped away.

“Our girls put in a great performance in the second half,” he quickly added.

“They dug deep in the second half and just came up short in the end.”

Donegal were well below par in the first half and trailed by two points at the break. 

“We were very disappointed with our first half performance,” the manager said.

“We didn't run at them like we did in the second half.

“We knew we had to run at them and ask questions of them and we did that in the second half and unfortunately the time was against us in the end.

“Our goal was a very well worked score and it was disappointing to concede one so soon after because I feel if we did not concede the goal we would have closed the game out.

Chances

“We had a couple of chances late on to equalise and they didn't go over for us and I feel Yvonne was fouled at the end but she did not get the free.

“But unfortunately that is the way the game goes sometimes.

“The girls that are away are a loss but the reality is that we had the chances and if we played as well in the first half as we did in the second we would have won the game.

“We didn’t get the rub of the green or get any lucky breaks and that was the difference in the end.”

Donegal’s Ulster ambitions for 2016 may be over but they are still in the All-Ireland series and the All Ireland Qualifiers.

“The Qualifiers start in July and we will regroup for the All Ireland series  in the coming days,” Naughton said.

“But this evening we are not thinking of the Qualifiers.

“We are just very disappointed to have given up our Ulster crown.”