DONEGAL GAA

Turnovers were reason for our defeat - Donegal manager Declan Bonner

Peter Campbell

Reporter:

Peter Campbell

Turnovers were reason for our defeat - Donegal manager Declan Bonner

Donegal manager Declan Bonner

Donegal manager, Declan Bonner, faced the media after the game and the word disappointing tripped from his lips in nearly every sentence.
He had seen his side lead by four points going into the final quarter, but Tyrone proved too strong from there to the finish, outscoring Donegal 2-7 to 0-2, and while the margin of victory did flatter the winners thanks to a late, late goal, the Donegal manager had no excuses.
"Very disappointing the way we finished out the match. Look, the goal came at a crucial stage for Tyrone. You know, we didn't react well to it and the substitutions that came in for Tyrone made a difference," said Bonner.
"It is disappointing. It was a disappointing way to exit it. The second and third quarters we were playing well and we were in control. But Tyrone stayed in the match and the goal was a huge turning point for Tyrone.
"We got too many balls turned over in that final (third) in the second half in particular. Eight or nine balls turned over and you can't do that against a quality side like Tyrone to counter attack and that's exactly what they done," he said.
Asked about the overall season for Donegal and how he felt it had panned out, he said: "Listen we set out our goals early on in terms of winning an Ulster title and getting to the Super 8s. There were a lot of new lads coming in there, but at the same time it is a very disappointing end to the championship in MacCumhaill Park, Ballybofey. But in terms of the effort and commitment put in by these lads over the last nine, ten months has been top class.
"But listen, there's a lot of learning. It was a huge learning curve today for a lot of lads and let's hope they can come back stronger againm" said Bonner.
The Donegal manager agreed that his side had been beaten by a very good side, who have been around for some time.
"Tyrone are a good side. They have been up there for the last 10 or 15 years and it sets them up for a nice match next Sunday against Monaghan."
He also agreed that it was the Tyrone bench which made the big difference with the goals coming from the benchand also Lee Brennan getting 0-4.
"I think they got 2-4 and Lee Brennan got a few points," said Bonner.
However, he felt that prior to the goal Donegal were in a good position. "I thought we were in control of the game and there was four points in it and we were trying to push up. It is just we gave ball away; we got sloppy at times; we just gave away a lot of ball in that final third and when you give ball away against Tyrone, they attack you and that's where the goal came from."
As for the season overall, he said: "We're disappointed; there is a disappointed dressing room in there; a lot of disappointed players. There are a lot of young players in there and I'm sure they will learn from that experience. We will have to sit down an analyse it," said Bonner, who added that there were positives to take from the season.
"We knew coming into this game, this game was winnable, we had no fear going into this game. We felt if we played as we were capable of playing and avoid those errors and mistakes, getting ball turned over, we had a great chance. Ultimately, that's what let us down.
"We had chances (at start of second half). But we will sit down and analyse. We have to build on that type of game, that type of atmosphere there today."
Asked about the semi-final and if he had watched Monaghan play Galway on Saturday night, he said: "I thought Monaghan have been very impressive all year. It sets up a cracking match and we were hoping to be there, but we won't. It's going to be a real humdinger of an Ulster affair. I think it will go right down to the wire," said Bonner.