As difficult as it must have been to watch Melvin Gaels celebrate with the Fenagh Cup last Sunday evening in Pairc Sean, a gracious Dominic Kelly was among the first to point out that the Kinlough men fully deserved to win.
With few Manorhamilton players able or willing to talk after the disappointment of seeing their five in a row dream shattered, Dominic spoke with typical straight-forward candour – “It is very hard to take. We probably didn’t deserve to win today to be honest, we didn’t play that well today.
“The better team won on the day, I’d have no qualms in saying it. They were more up for it, we didn’t seem to be up for it.”
With four consecutive county titles, many felt that Glencar/Manorhamilton struggled to find the form of previous years and while Dominic didn’t want to take anything from Melvin Gaels win, he felt that there was something in it.
“I think it probably has a lot to do with that, it is hard to keep coming back. Personally, I found it myself this year, I found it really hard to keep going back to the well but look, I’m not taking away from Melvin Gaels. What they did today was excellent and fair play to them, they were the hungrier team.
“It’ll probably be hard to hear them going through Manorhamilton beeping the horns but we’ll be out, clapping them through. We’ll just put it in the back pocket and we’ll use it for motivation again.”
Looking back on the game, it was no more than Dominic expected – “It was a hard hitting game but nothing more than you’d expect to be honest from a local derby, you expect to be hit hard. It is hard to take at the minute.
“The goals didn’t help, they help them at times. To be honest, we just weren’t at the races today no matter what we say. The goals probably did kill us but they seemed to be more up for it.”
With five Senior medals to his name, Dominic has a bit of perspective that many of his younger colleagues don’t and he stressed that Glencar/Manorhamilton have a lot to be proud of despite Sunday’s defeat.
“It has been fabulous, the last four years I’ve been saying it to the lads to stand tall and stand proud, it has just been excellent what we’ve achieved. And we’ll look back in a couple of weeks and we’ll realise what we’ve done.
“I know it is hurting now but what we’ve done has been unbelievable, four in a row in this day and age, I don’t think it is going to happen ever again. Maybe I could be proved wrong but I don’t think it will. And we should remember that.
“I was a young fellow in 1999, I thought it was going to happen every year but in fairness, this time we stuck at it and we made sure it did happen for four years. This team will be back, this Manor team will be back. Next year, we’ll be here or here-abouts. We’ll go again next year.”