Let me begin by saying Saturday night’s game between Kilcar and Slaughtneil was a great game of football.
Kilcar may have lost but they did both the club and the county proud.
I know there were six points between them and Slaughtneil at the end, but they had four clear goal chances and if they had taken one or two of them it may well have been a different outcome.
Paddy McBrearty was superb and the best forward on the field. He kicked ten points and gave Brendan Rogers, the Slaughtneil full-back, who is a quality player, a torrid time.
But for me Chrissy McKaigue, the Slaughtneil centre half-back, was the outstanding player on the field.
Kilcar had a big second quarter and came from five points down in the middle of the half to go in one up at half-time.
Michael Hegarty, Ryan McHugh and Ciaran McGinley won a lot of ball around the middle of the field and McBrearty was in brilliant form up front.
He was unfortunate not to score a goal but was denied by a good save from the Slaughtneil ‘keeper.
The big turning point for me was the loss of Ciaran McGinley to injury in the second half.
He had just kicked a brilliant point and had been playing well and Kilcar were still very much in the game.
But there is no getting away from it, Slaughtneil are a quality side. And as well as Chrissy McKaigue, his brother Karl, Se and Shane McGuigan and Chrissy Bradley all played well for them.
I think it is going to take a great team to beat them.
The thing that amazed me about them was how fresh they were, given their long run in both football and hurling. It is a great credit to their manager Mickey Moran.
I know Kilcar will be disappointed this week. But they should hold their heads up. They did themselves and the county proud and as I mentioned earlier, they had four good goal chances and if they had converted one or two of them it could have been a different story.
But when they reflect on the year, it has been a good one. They have won the league and championship and the reserve league and given the age profile, they are going to be the team to beat in Donegal for the next few years.
Finally, Donegal GAA has lost another great stalwart following the death of James Dowds from Naomh Colmcille.
James was a great character. I have known him for years and he was a great Gael and my sympathies to his family and the Naomh Colmcille club. Ar dheis Dé ar a anam.
Brian McEniff was in conversation with Tom Comack.