It wasn’t to be. It was disappointing in the end for the minors but they came up short against a very good Galway side.
We had difficulties early on as Galway were getting quality ball in but I thought our full-back line battled bravely, sometimes against the odds.
It was only when young Peadar Mogan pushed forward to midfield that we got into the game. His ability to take ball forward at pace revitalised us.
I felt we did well at midfield as Jason McGee and Kieran Gallagher battled gamely and broke even at least.
Enda McCormick from Termon also worked very hard and took his goal well. Our two central attackers, Niall O’Donnell and Eoghan McGettigan, were targeted by Galway, being double marked most of the time, which blunted their work.
One thing I did notice was the amount of kicking that Galway did as opposed to our handpassing. It would be interesting to get the statistics on this. In Donegal we’re just over-handpassing, and you can see that nothing travels faster than a kick pass. It is something that is blunting Donegal’s progress at all levels, and it is coming from club level. There is a need to look at this at club level.
Finnerty and Conneely were very good inside for Galway and Evan Murphy is a fine player while Ryan Forde gave us a lot of problems from half-forward.
The second Galway goal put the tin hat on it although we showed a lot of spunk to get back.
Overall, it is a great occasion to get to an All-Ireland semi-final, but we just weren’t good enough on the day.
Shaun Paul Barrett and his backroom team have given us a good run and overall Donegal are in a good place with a good U-21 team.
It is time now for the senior management to bring these young players into the set up. The club championship will start next weekend and the senior management will also be watching that action.
Young players have to be prepared, with gym programmes, but overall there is plenty to work on and we can look forward to many more days out in Croke Park.
Brian McEniff was in conversation with Peter Campbell