'We are still in the Ulster Championship' - Dunnion

'We are still in the Ulster Championship' - Dunnion
Tom Comack @dgldemocrat

With none of the Donegal players made available to the media afterwards, county chairman, Sean Dunnion, was left to face the press along with manager Rory Gallagher.

The chairman expressed mixed feelings of relief and disappointment. He was relieved that Donegal survived to fight another day after a late Monaghan onslaught.

But he was also disappointed that Rory Gallagher’s charges did not hang on to win after leading by two points heading into injury time.

“I suppose the overall emotion is one of relief at getting the draw,” said the chairman.

“We had our opportunity to win but the reality is that the tide was with Monaghan in the last couple of minutes and if the game had gone on another minute or two we mightn’t have got the draw.”

A late tackle by Anthony Thompson in the middle of the field on Monaghan’s Karl McConnell as he kicked the ball led to Conor McManus’s 20 metre free in the sixth minute of added time that levelled the game for the last time.

Referee Joe McQuillan awarded the free from where the ball landed.

“Anthony is a very experienced player and it was disappointing that he gave away the free. But those things happen in the white heat of battle.”

Dunnion may have been disappointed that Donegal did not hang on at the end, but he also admitted that it did not look good when Monaghan went three up early in the second half and Donegal lost Martin McElhinney.

“When we were 0-10 to 0-7 down and man down in the middle of the second half, we would have taken a draw at that stage.

“Overall a draw was probably a fair enough result and it is now a matter of going away now and licking our wounds and preparing for the replay which I’m hearing will be back here in Cavan, next Saturday night with a thrown in of 7 p.m.

“The good thing is that we are still in the Ulster championship and in with a chance of reaching our sixth final in-a-row.

“We already have the minors in the final. They had a very good win here today and hopefully the senior can join them.

“Going on what we saw out there today there is little between ourselves and Monaghan and I’m expecting another close game in the replay.

It is a 50/50 game but there is no reason we cannot win it,” said Dunnion.