BRIAN MCENIFF COLUMN: Gaoth Dobhair did Donegal and Ulster proud despite defeat

BRIAN MCENIFF COLUMN: Gaoth Dobhair did Donegal and Ulster proud despite defeat

I was a proud Donegal man in Pairc Sean MacDiarmada in Carrick-on- Shannon on Saturday, for Gaoth Dobhair’s All-Ireland semi-final game with Corofin.

Naturally, I was disappointed with the result, I thought although Gaoth Dobhair did not play to their potential, they still did Donegal and Ulster proud.

They were up against the reigning All-Ireland champions and an experienced well organised and quality Corofin outfit.

It was easy to see why they are the reigning champions and one of the top teams in the game in the last few years.

I think it would be interesting and a different game if Gaoth Dobhair had met them two weeks after they played Scotstown in the Ulster final.

I know it was the same for the two teams and the gap between the respective provincial finals was similar.

But Corofin had the distinct advantage of being down that road before and they knew how to handle the three month gap between the games.

They had their homework done, too, and they cancelled out a number of Gaoth Dobhair’s big men.

They also used the ball better and got good quality ball to the inside men and this was the winning of the game.

Gaoth Dobhair, on the other hand, were laboured in possession and I felt they were too slow to get the ball inside to Kevin Cassidy.

Kevin had the measure of Kieran Fitzgerald, the Corofin full-back, and he scored a goal and two points and if he got a reasonable supply I believe he would have inflicted more pain.

On the Corofin side, their best player was Gary Sice, who finished with 1-7.

But there is no shame in a four point defeat against a side of the quality and vast experience of Corofin.

Gaoth Dobhair will have learned from the experience and with the abundance of talent in the squad if they can keep it together they have the ability become a force on the national stage. But that is up to them.

FERMANAGH ON THE HORIZON

Declan Bonner and the seniors are back in league action next Sunday. After losing to Tipperary last time out they face a tricky assignment against Fermanagh in O’Donnell Park, Letterkenny.

It is a tricky assignment on a number of fronts. Firstly it is a top of table clash. Fermanagh are above Donegal on score average and Rory Gallagher knows Donegal like the back of his hand and he is a shrewd coach.

It is also tricky because of Donegal’s poor record in O’Donnell Park.

The Donegal hurlers suffered another defeat in the league against Wicklow and are now into a play-off to avoid relegation.

They are not far off the pace in Division 2B and with, by all accounts, a good crop of young players coming through it would be great if they could hold on to their status for another year.

BANQUET SUCCESS

It was good to meet the president of the GAA John Horan and a lot of old friends and playing colleagues and players in the Mount Errigal on Friday.

The night went very well and my nephew Terry and his staff put on a good spread. It was nice to be honoured by the county board. It was a good night all round and it was good the county raised a good few euros.

Finally, this week congratulations to Letterkenny IT and their manager Michael Murphy on winning the Trench Cup.

Brian McEniff was in conversation with Tom Comack