Gaoth Dobhair boss Mervyn O'Donnell
Gaoth Dobhair boss Mervyn O’Donnell has revealed that he would have had no problem if Sunday’s titanic tussle with Naomh Conaill had been decided on a points/penalty shoot out.
The candid O’Donnell was still trying to process the frenetic finish to this sizzling encounter in extra-time as his side just about hung on to their county and provincial finals.
There had been much discussion about how this encounter should end, but O’Donnell was quite emphatic in his response.
He added that as far as Gaoth Dobhair were concerned, they had not agreed to the match going to a third replay on Wednesday night, which is what transpired.
“There was that question asked and as far as I’m aware we didn’t agree to it going to a third game on Wednesday night.
“As far as we were concerned, we were in favour of finishing it or at least another two five-minute periods of extra-time, and after that then you are probably coming down to frees.
“The only reason I am saying that is because a lot of lads are going to have to make arrangements this week with college and everything else. It’s mid-term this week so it might not be so bad. Hopefully they can recover quickly.”
So why did Gaoth Dobhair not close out the game when they went three points up in extra-time?
But O’Donnell salutes the bravery and tenacity of Naomh Conaill who somehow summoned the will and the energy to come back and almost take their first county title since 2015.
“Glenties pressed really high on us and it was really hard to get it away, and that was a big factor in the game and we just couldn’t get the ball out and try and go down the other end and score.
“I thought we dominated the first half of extra-time, but then in the second period they put a big squeeze on our kick out and we were in trouble.”
But Gaoth Dobhair will be facing into Wednesday night’s second replay without Kieran Gillespie and Christopher McFadden; the word on Odhrán McFadden Ferry, who missed last Sunday’s battle, is more hopeful.
“You saw again Odhrán McFadden Ferry, Kieran Gillespie and Christopher McFadden were missing out of the squad, and it was evident that we were a bit light today.
“We had big Peter (McGee) to come on there and a couple of other lads, but at the same time you need all those boys because they are part of your starting team and two county players as such.
“When you take two county players out of your squad it’s a big loss and it’s on days like this you need them.
“It's difficult to get the bodies right for Wednesday again and obviously nobody can really train. It’s all about recovery now.
“It’s a bit of a disruption for your lads in Dublin and stuff like that. It’s difficult for lads in teaching jobs and stuff like that so it’s difficult for them, but it’s what you have to do now to try and get finality on the thing.”
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