It is said that there is no worse place to lose a game than a semi-final but if the deep disappointment of the Annaduff and Ballinamore Sean O’Heslin’s camps was obvious, then managers Michael Moyles and Seamus Mullen still had the grace to talk about the pain of losing.
By John Connolly
While many felt a draw would have been the fairest result in the first game but when that was put to Annaduff boss Moyles, his reaction was straight forward “Probably but we can have no complaints there, we had two or three chances there at the end.
“We came in with the underdogs tag which we were kind of relishing a small bit. We’re disappointed, every lad gave everything, maybe we took the wrong options the last two or three balls going inside, we could have got a draw and maybe nicked a win but that is the way football is.”
Neither did Michael criticise referee Brendan Sammon, instead praising the match official - “Some people may call for a soft free but I though the referee did an excellent job the whole game. He gave both sides frees so we have nobody to blame with ourselves.”
The fact that Annaduff were in action three weeks in a row wasn’t a factor according to Michael – “We were looking forward to this game. We came out and tried to play football with them and in the end, they edged it. The spin we put on it was that it was great to get an extra game, particularly against a team like Mohill, a class outfit. We felt it was a benefit more than a hindrance.
“We can have no complaints. We had the winning of the game and we could have drew it but at the end of the day, Mary’s had one point more on the score-board than us and that’s it.
“Lads stood up that maybe weren’t playing last year. It is a building process and we are getting closer every year, I hope the lads stick with it and give it another lash next year.”
And the Annaduff manager was full of praise for the structure of the championship – “It is a great championship to be involved in and with all the counties I’ve been involved in, it is great the way they run it off. It is a credit to the County Board the way they run it.
“We’ll have to regroup, look at our League games we have left and try and end the year with a trophy, we got beaten in the League final last year. We’re improving all the time and that is our goal at the start of the year, we want to be better every year.
“In fairness to the lads, they’ve showed great heart all year. We’re upset we are not going to be in the final, that is where we set out to be at the start of the year,” concluded Michael.
A shell-shocked Seamus Mullen could only marvel at the County Champions after their destruction of his Ballinamore Sean O’Heslin’s team – “Manorhamilton showed their class today, they really were up for it. They certainly weren’t complacent and from the word go, they tore into us and showed their class.
“We were very slow to come out of the traps even though we thought we were ready, they just blitzed us and I suppose we could have been even further behind in the first 15 minutes.”
Inexperience may have hindered Ballinamore as none of their starting line-up had even seen action in a Senior Semi-Final – “Possibly it could have been a factor. We didn’t think it was before-hand, we were going out today thinking we’d give them a good run for their money and possibly even win it.