Brian McEniff: We must pick ourselves up for Qualifiers

Hard to figure out what went wrong

Brian McEniff: We must pick ourselves up for Qualifiers

Overall, it was a very disappointing from Donegal in Clones yesterday. Apart from the first 15 minutes, we really were never in the game.

From then on, Tyrone were much the better side and completely overwhelmed us.

It’s hard to figure what went wrong. We are a much better team than we showed in this game.

But was it a case that maybe we put too much into the league? We seemed to lack energy and we were very lethargic.

It was interesting too that three of our younger fellows - Jason McGee, Ciaran Thompson and Jamie Brennan - were all substituted early in the game.

It’s a big step-up from underage to senior, and even from league to championship.

Mark Anthony McGinley had a good game in goals, Paddy McGrath was impressive in defence. Michael Murphy did well early on and Patrick McBrearty had a good appetite for the contest and kicked four points. But other than that, we really struggled.

In hindsight, the ease with which we defeated Antrim in the quarter-final probably didn't do us any favours. But we also have to hand it to Tyrone. They're a very good team and they showed it in this game.

Their six forwards that started all scored, as did three of their substitutes and their two half backs, Peter Harte and Tiernan McCann also scored. Harte got three points from play and McCann got a goal and a point.

Maybe if Eoin McHugh had finished off that goal chance that came his way in the first half, it might have put a different complexion on the game. But the reality is that Tyrone were the better side and it was only when they ran their bench towards the end that we got a couple of late scores and the goal from Michael Carroll.

Tyrone had their homework done on us. They made sure Ryan McHugh never got into the game and they went long with their kick-outs and worked the mark well. Colm Cavanagh in particular, won a lot of marks at midfield.

The bottom line is, we’re going to have to bounce back now. We have a lot of good, young footballers and they haven’t become bad footballers overnight.

We have to pick ourselves up now in the Qualifiers and hopefully we’ll get a decent draw. It would be nice to get a good run in the Qualifiers which would be a valuable experience for our young players.

Brian was in conver-sation with Tom Comack