Desperately disappointed. I suppose that best sums up how I feel after yesterday’s Ulster final defeat to Tyrone.
I always felt it was going to a close affair and that we would have to play very well to win.
But the way the game unfolded I grew in confidence as it progressed and given the defensive nature of the game I was very happy at half-time when we led by three points.
And when Patrick McBrearty scored within seconds of the restart we were four up and I felt in a good position. But we only scored three more points and two of them were in the closing minutes.
Tyrone definitely turned up the heat in the second half and the ferocious pace I have often mentioned here before caused us bother.
Peter Harte, Sean Cavanagh and the two subs Darren McCurry and Kieran McGeary, a young lad I had never heard of before, kicked two good points.
We played a lot of lateral football in the second half and while Odhrán Mac Niallais did pop over a good long range effort we had very little else to show for the half until Michael (Murphy) converted from a free and Christy Toye, shortly after coming on, landed a good point to put us one up again.
During that spell when we were playing the ball over and back the field in the second half at one point I saw Michael Murphy standing close to the Tyrone goals being marked by Cathal McCarron. McCarron is not the biggest man in the world and is not noted as being a good fielder.
The ball should have been given in long to Michael and more might have come from it than playing the ball over and back the field.
Patrick McBrearty was substituted because the ball was not going in. Though in fairness to Colm McFadden who replaced Patrick, I felt he was unlucky not to win a free the time the ball did go in to him. The referee let a lot go, especially in the second half and it seemed to suit them.
Overall it was a disappointing result to a game that we seemed to be in control of for a long period.
The minors’ win is a measure of compensation. They had a good win over Derry, but they only played in fits and starts did not play with the intensity you would expect from them.
They are a good side but they are going to have to up their intensity if the are to cut any ice down the road in the All-Ireland series.
Brian McEniff was in conversation with Tom Comack.
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