BRIAN MCENIFF COLUMN:The tell tale signs had been there for Donegal before Sunday's defeat

BRIAN MCENIFF COLUMN:The tell tale signs had been there for Donegal before Sunday's defeat

The result in Thurles on Sunday wasn’t the result we were expecting. But in a way it was a case of the chickens coming home to roost.

The warning signs had been there in the McKenna Cup and the other two games in the league against Clare and Meath.

We struggled in a number of those games in the middle of the field and we were opened up in a number of those games far too easily at the back.

I had spoken about those problems and our inability to score goals and to put teams away when on top.

While we weren’t playing well on Sunday we were still four points up with around ten minutes left and that was after leading by three points at half-time.

And that was with Jamie Brennan missing a first half penalty. Up to the second goal, which brought them back to a point, Tipperary, who were short a number big name players, didn’t look capable of winning.

But you cannot gift a team two goals in the last ten minutes and not be punished even by a team like Tipperary.

We are going to have to learn how to put teams away when you have them by the throat and we have to work on scoring more goals.

It’s not rocket science. But we don’t seem to have a player in the team at the moment that can nail a goal or two.

It was also disappointing we seemed to drop the heads when they scored the second goal.

The good thing about the defeat is we have a two week break now to our next gam against Fermanagh in O’Donnell Park. Remember Fermanagh are on four points, too, and they will be no pushover and we are all aware of our poor record in O’Donnell Park.

But while I’m disappointed with the result and even more so the performance, there is no need to panic.

But what we do need to do is get Michael Murphy and the other lads that are missing at present back.

In a way the defeat may be a blessing in disguise because you always learn more after a defeat than you do after a win.

Leo McLoone came in on Sunday and played well so we need more of the experienced men back to get back on track.

The tell tale signs had been there for a number of weeks and we have to admit we were steeped against Meath last weekend. Over the 70 plus minutes Meath were the better team.

DONEGAL LADIES FLYING

The Donegal ladies are really flying and after a last weekend’s fantastic win over Dublin in Croke Park, they produced another good performance to beat Mayo on Sunday in Convoy.

By all accounts it was a gutsy performance in very difficult weather conditions.

Captain Karen Guthrie is fairly leading by example. She scored 1-5 against Mayo after putting 1-4 away against Dublin the week before.

A big well done to Karen and the manager Maxi Curran.

GOOD LUCK GAOTH DOBHAIR

Finally, Gaoth Dobhair’s big day is upon. They face Corofin from Galway, the reigning All-Ireland champions, down in Carrick-on-Shannon on Saturday.

It is a huge game for the Donegal champions but if they go out and play as they can and produce their A game or as near as possible to it, I feel they will be in with a right good chance.

Hopefully, the Donegal public will travel to the Leitrim venue to lend their support and get a Donegal team to a club final in Croke Park on St Patricks Day.

Brian McEniff was in conversation with Tom Comack