DECLAN BONNER CUT a disappointed figure as Donegal were pipped by Mayo in the relegation rollercoaster in the Allianz League Division 1 this afternoon.
Donegal were held to a 0-13 to 0-13 draw against the side managed by Stephen Rochford with Kevin McLoughlin grabbing the levelling score just 20 seconds from the end of normal time.
Donegal manager Declan Bonner during Sunday’s game. Photo Evan Logan
With just six minutes to go, Donegal looked to be holding on as they led by three points only for Mayo to fight back at the bitter end.
“It is disappointing but you have to take your chances,” Bonner said. “We had chances at the end and we did not take them. It can be a cruel game at times. We did not get the rub of the green and we did not convert those chances late on which would have seen us through.
“We are not going to be laying the finger of blame on anyone. It is a squad effort and we are all in it together but we put in a good effort today. We were up against an experienced Mayo team and they played to the end.”
As match referee Anthony Nolan blew the final whistle, Donegal were livid that they were not allowed one last play following a delay the saw Eoghan Ban Gallagher and Patrick Durcan of Mayo yellow-carded.
Bonner added: “The game was stopped for a minute and a half and the next thing it is blown up after four minutes. We thought there was going to be at least one play in it but it wasn’t to be. That’s disappointing. It was one of those campaigns where maybe it was our destiny to go back into Division 2. There was a lot of things that went against us, we played 34 players and blooded a lot of players who will have benefitted from it.
“Listen, any player that wore the Donegal today, and throughout the league campaign absolutely gave it everything and that’s all that you can ask.
“They’re a really committed bunch, and naturally, they’re very disappointed today, but we start preparations on Easter Monday ahead of the championship campaign.”
“There were plenty of positives, but it was disappointing that today was a game that we could have won, but didn’t.