I have mixed feelings about yesterday’s defeat to Mayo. I’m disappointed in one sense that we did not win the game after being in a great position at half-time.
But while it would have been nice to get to a league final, I’m not sure if we are ready for Dublin on the wide open spaces of Croke Park, just yet.
Big lessons will have been learned from yesterday’s game. We were in a good position, four up when Mayo sent on Aidan O’Shea.
He is a big man and he started to throw his weight about and we lost our focus.
He played well to a degree but he disrupted us around the middle of the field and we got dragged into a bout of fisticuffs and then we lost Eamon Doherty to a red card.
We also three times in the second half had the ball brought forward by the referee into scoring positions after we had conceded frees.
On a day when Cillian O’Connor was struggling with his free taking this was a disaster. He missed three frees at the start of the second half and then we ended up handing him easy points.
Basically, we lost our discipline and it cost us the game. This was a shame because we played some brilliant football and were the best team for up to 45 minutes.
Our play in the first half into the breeze was at times awesome and Mayo simply had no answer to us.
And it wasn’t a case of a number of individuals stepping up and performing, the whole team was playing well. The feeling at half-time, three up and with the wind in our backs in the second half, was that we would push on. And we really looked to be on our way when Cian Mulligan put us four up early in the second half.
But O’Shea disrupted us and we lost focus and that has to be the big lesson to take from the game.
Despite the defeat and the manner in which we lost, it has been a good league campaign. In fact I would go so far as to say it has been a great campaign.
We have blooded a good number of young players and we have come out of the league a much better team than when we set out at the start of February. And that is the most important thing. Roll on the championship.
Brian McEniff was in conversation with Tom Comack.