BRIAN MCENIFF COLUMN: We are probably in the top five in the country

BRIAN MCENIFF COLUMN: We are probably in the top five in the country

The die is cast and the All-Ireland race is down to the last two after the weekend’s All-Ireland semi-finals.

Kerry will take on the All-Ireland champions Dublin in the final on September 1. It’s a final that will delight the traditionalists.

Mayo put it up to Dublin in the first half of Saturday evening’s semi-final. But the Dubs blew them away in the first ten minutes of the second half and won pulling up.

They are a serious side and after watching the game I couldn’t help but feel it was just as well we lost in Castlebar. We simply had too many injuries to give them a game and as a consequence they could leave untold psychological damage.

Tyrone probably left a place in the final behind them when going down to Kerry by three points in the second semi-final on Sunday.

Tyrone’s four points lead at half-time did not reflect their first half dominance and they paid the price for not being a little more clinical when on top.

But there was very little between the sides and in the end it came down to Kerry’s ability to plunder a goal; something Tyrone did not do when on top.

I don’t think it will make much of a difference, regardless, I cannot see Kerry deny Dublin the historic five in-a-row.

The Dubs are simply awesome and the way they are going and looking at their squad there are a few more All-Irelands in them.

It may not be good for the game but what can be done. They have set the bar and it is up to the rest to catch up.

After the Super 8s and the semi-finals and taking it that the four semi-finalist are the top four in the country we are probably the fifth best.

Taking it that Dublin will win the All-Ireland and finalists Kerry are the second best I would put Tyone and Mayo ahead of us. Tyrone at number three.

But going forward I feel we are in a better position than Mayo.

But I feel Mayo will have a much changed squad next season. I feel a good few of the current Mayo squad will hang up the boots.

And though we may have a few ourselves I feel Mayo are going to be a few years behind us in transition.

I haven’t been speaking to Declan Bonner since Castlebar and I don’t know what he is doing next season. I hope he and his management team stay on because they have done a good job over the last two seasons.

Two Ulster titles back-to-back is nothing to be sneezed at and promotion back to Division One was also won again this season.

GAPS TO BE FILLED

Declan needs to pick a number of new players for next season and going forward because there are gaps to be filled.

Young players like Conor O’Donnell in Carndonagh, Paddy Dolan in Convoy and Aaron Doherty in Glen need to be nurtured and brought through. Look at the impact Oisin Gallen made this season.

I’m aware that Conor O’Donnell is currently out with a cruciate injury. Hopefully he is being looked after and that he can be back early next season.

I was in Gaoth Dobhair with Bundoran on Sunday and it was good to see Kieran Gillespie doing the warm up with Gaoth Dobhair. He didn’t play but he told me he hopes to be back playing in a month. Kieran will be a big addition.

When you look at things in the cold light of day we are in a good enough place.

Brian McEniff was in conversation with Tom Comack