IT WASN’T a classic by any means and John Brennan and his squad will feel they can produce better performances than that exhibited in the Ulster Final!
Still it was always going to be a huge task to lift an Ulster Senior Championship without two of Derry’s most influential players, Paddy and Eoin Bradley.
Although Donegal raced into an early lead, Derry’s control at midfield ensured the game never got away from the Oak Leafers.
Indeed, with the scores level I thought Derry were edging the game until that penalty incident.
Very difficult decision for the referee but having the benefit of replay, I still think it was a very harsh call.
It could be argued the incident changed the game because it certainly galvanised Donegal for 10 minutes.
During this period the link-up play between Donegal forwards, Colm McFadden and Michael Murphy was excellent to watch and led to some superb scores.
Unfortunately for Derry the likes of Enda Muldoon and Mark Lynch just didn’t perform and Donegal’s blanket defence claimed the honours.
James Kielt had an exellent game and his display would surely have seen him on a winning team on a different day.
Nevertheless, congratulations to our neighbours Donegal and I still believe this Derry team will re-group to give a good account of themselves against Kildare in the qualifiers.
Like all Derry fans I’d love to have won an Ulster title but I’m still more than satisfied with where we are with Brennan and his players.