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Mac's View: Absence of key players proved too much for Bundoran

Full credit to Gaoth Dobhair - they are a quality side

Brian McEniff

Reporter:

Brian McEniff

Email:

Sport@donegaldemocrat.com

Mac's View

Niall Friel jumps for joy after scoring Gaoth Dobhair's opening goal against Bundoran. Picture: Geraldine Diver

First and foremost what can I say as chairman of Bundoran GAA club, other than that I’m very disappointed with our performance against Gaoth Dobhair in the county quarter final on Sunday evening.
It was a hugely disappointing performance. The reality is we did not show up in the first half and the game was over at half-time.
Credit where credit is due - the players did up the performance in the second half. But the damage was done in the first half.
Full credit to Gaoth Dobhair. They are a good side, although it's hard to judge them on Sunday evening's game because Bundoran, in reality, put up no resistance.
I’m not making excuses but we were short a number of key players including our goalkeeper Ashley Mulhern who was on holidays and thought there was a two week break between the group games and the quarter final.
Diarmaid McCaughey was missing from the full-back line. Diarmaid just got promotion in his job and had to catch a flight on Sunday evening. If the game was at 2pm he would have been able to play.
Johnny Boyle was also missing from the defence. Johnny is in the Army and he was only allowed two hours off on Sunday and as a result would not be able to make the game.
Cian McEniff is injured and we were also without the two Keaneys, James and Christy.
But take nothing away from Gaoth Dobhair, they are a very good side, though there are tougher tests down the road.

SEE ALSO: Gallery of pics from Gaoth Dobhair v Bundoran


But looking at the squad of players and the strength in depth, if they keep the feet on the ground and don’t lose the run of themselves, they have the potential to do well in Ulster.
Before I headed to Ballybofey, I watched the Naomh Conaill versus Kilcar game in Tír Chonaill Park.
First let me say, there seemed to be a lot of niggle in the game ,especially in the first half and it was another one of those games where the two teams played very defensive.
It was not pretty to watch and I don’t know where we are going with this type of football. If clubs persist with it, people will stop going to games. I don’t know what can be done about it but all I know is something needs to be done. That style of football is killing the game and it cannot be enjoyable to play either.
As for the game, Kilcar went into the game without the injured Patrick McBrearty and Ryan McHugh. Then 17 minutes into the game they lost Mark McHugh to injury.
This was another big blow because Mark, for the time he was on the field, was making a significant contribution.
But despite the setback with 28 minutes on the second half clock there was only a point between the teams. Naomh Conaill were one up.
Kilcar had good performances from Ciaran McGinley, who I feel did not get the protection he deserved from the officials, Michael Hegarty at centre half back and Conor McShane.
Eoin McHugh wasn’t given any space and I thought Matthew McClean had a good game. He is a good footballer and he is still young.
Anthony Thompson had a very steady game for Naomh Conaill at centre half back as did his brother Ciaran who rotated between midfield and full forward.
Kieran Gallagher, Eoin Waide, Marty Boyle and Leo McLoone all played well.
The semi-finals are due to be played next weekend. I fancy Gaoth Dobhair to overcome MacCumhaills but the other one between Naomh Conaill and Glenswilly is a toss of a coin at this stage.


Brian McEniff was in conversation with Tom Comack