When the dust settles, Mervyn O’Donnell, the Gaoth Dobhair manager, says the achievement his team have made will not be forgotten.
By Alan Foley in Carrick-on-Shannon
O’Donnell had just watched his team go down 2-13 to 1-12 against Galway’s Corofin in the All-Ireland SFC Club semi-final at Carrick-on-Shannon.
“We will appreciate this,” he said. “It was pretty bleak in Gweedore. We hadn’t been getting out of group stages to where we’ve got, the last four in Ireland. I think it’s a massive achievement.”
Following a domestic All-County Football League Division 1 title, victory in the Michael Murphy Sports & Leisure Donegal SFC and a first Ulster Club SFC title for Donegal since 1976, Gaoth Dohair were well-backed on Saturday.
However, they found the current All-Ireland SFC club champions just a bridge too far despite a spirited performance.
“The supporters were brilliant as they have been all year,” O’Donnell added. “There was huge noise from that stand and as you know we have had some dark days in Gweedore over the last while so it was nice to give them something to come out and cheer on.
“As a parish and a team we are very proud where we got. It was lovely to see. Last year we got to the semi-final of Donegal and we’re here now.
“The journey for me has been since the start of 2017. We were in Donegal town that summer and we could only field 14 players. We got our act together.”
O’Donnell was disappointed with some aspects of his side’s performance, despite the fact they were playing against a team with three All-Ireland club titles to their name since 1998 but believes the future is bright for the team from Magheragallon.
He added: “Today, we felt like we could beat Corofin. We really did. I don’t think we played as good as we could have. I don’t think we were overawed at all. That wasn’t the issue. We just didn’t make the right decisions and we gave away a lot of kick-outs there.
“We looked at our stats at half-time and they had something like a 90 percent conversation rate and we had 60, so do the maths there. It’s just not good enough and that’s just what it came down to.
“We’re learn from it. It’s important to have the conveyor belt coming from your club from underage and you’d like to think that your club can bring a production line on three or four each year and they’ll join into this. That’s the plan for every club. As a parish and a team we are very proud where we got.”Tags: