“Experience was the difference out there today,” was the reaction of Ballyshannon coach, Raymond Gallagher, after the final whistle at the Lakeside.
“We are still a young team and we can learn from that and hopefully it will make us better.
“We were short Dara Tyrell, James O’Donnell and Tom Dillon from our first team. They would three of our most experienced players and two of them (Tyrell and O’Donnell) are back row players. That was an area where they were strong today.
“We fought very hard, but it was difficult without those three big ball carriers.
“The loss of Mark Rooney was also huge. Mark is our top scorer this year. I would say he’s ahead by about five tries, so that was going to be difficult,” said Ray, who had to fill in at outhalf when Mark had to leave the field. “I was nowhere near ready; too close to Christmas,” quipped Ray.
“The league is the full season and at the moment we are top of our section, four points clear. It goes from September to May and we have six games left.
“Enniskillen are eight points behind with two games in hand and we have already played them twice, each winning once.
“Rainey are close as well and we have to travel to play them on the 2nd February, which will be a tough encounter.
“Overall today was disappointing but we will have to get over it and hopefully get stronger as a result. James (O’Donnell) will be back next week for definite and we will have to see about Dara (Tyrell). Obviously, we will be without Mark Rooney for some time. It could be six weeks but it depends on the damage with the dislocation. Hopefully, it will not be too long,” said Ray, who was very pleased with the try scored.
“It was the first time that we moved the ball,” laughs Ray. “It was a very good score. It’s all about getting the boys to not lose heart now. They are not used to losing. We’ll be back next week,” said Ray.