A trimming it probably was but Gary McDaid made no apologies for St Eunan’s loss against St Patrick’s College from Cavan on Saturday in the MacRory Cup quarter-final.
The former Glenswilly manager has been overseeing the fortunes of the Letterkenny school in Ulster’s premier competition.
The 2-15 to 0-7 hammering might’ve been a bitter pill to swallow but McDaid believes there’s lessons to be learned in defeat.
“It’s where you want to be and where you want to test yourself,” he said. “It’s where you’ll really improve as a footballer because it’s the top grade, the MacRory Cup.
“We’re glad every now and again that we get a chance to play in the competition.
“It’s massive work - this has been a six-year plan with these boys. It takes massive hours and man power and you can see how much effort goes in.”
St Eunan’s will return to the MacLarnon cup next year not because of the conclusion of this season but because next year’s seniors have been operating at B level.
“This team won the ‘B’ competition at U-13 level and got promoted, but none of the teams on the way up have won any competition yet so they’ll be playing in the MacLarnon for two years,” McDaid added.
“Things are bright for the future.
“No disrespect to the Vocational competitions, but most of the good sides who were in there have moved to Colleges - Virginia were in the Markey Cup final and are now playing Colleges, Cookstown have gone, St Ciaran’s from Ballygawley and St Paul’s in Bessbrook have all moved.”
Minus the suspended David Tyrell, Michael Miller, Darragh McWalters and Oran Hilley, St Eunan’s were washed away on Saturday at Dunmoyle.
They trailed by 12 points at the break and even then, with the margin so large, there was no way back.
“It was something we talked about at half-time - that we wouldn’t want to remember the MacRory Cup campaign ended on such a sour note,” McDaid said.
They came out for the second half and did try a bit harder, but it was very disappointing.
“The big thing we were saying at half-time was how we didn’t want it to end like that.
“We changed the tactics a bit. It wasn’t that tactics were going to win it at that stage, but we just had to go out and play for a bit of pride.
“We wanted the boys to show a bit of passion for the jersey.”