By Frank Craig
Charles McGuinness said that there was a real claustrophobic feel to last Sunday’s Donegal SFC final.
Both sets of players were touch tight off the ball and there was a real brute physicality to any coming togethers on it.
Young Charles McGuinness was playing in his first senior final and his opening second-half point seemed like it was on the verge of setting up Naomh Conaill to push on for a famous win.
But Gaoth Dobhair’s experience and quality meant that this one was always destined to go down to the wire. That’s exactly how it transpired.
And for young McGuinness, he’ll get another go at attempting to get his hands on the Dr Maguire again this coming Sunday.
He said: “It wasn’t the result we hoped for but at least we get another crack at it again now next weekend.
“You really had no time on the ball. At both ends, forwards were just closed down and put under so much pressure. Chances were limits. Defences were definitely on top today.
“We’ll assess it all and look at what we can do differently next day out. Hopefully that will be the thing that gets us over the line when we go again.”
It was a quiet departure from MacCumhaill Park for both sets of players last Sunday. Frustration, disappointment, relief, it was all of those feelings rolled into one.
He added: “It’s not that it’s an anticlimax. You just don’t know what to think after a draw. You haven’t lost it but you haven’t won it either.
“You just have to park it all really quickly and get refocused. We’re content enough to get another day out.
“We did well in the first-half. Maybe we caught Gaoth Dobhair a little off guard coming into the game. Our taclking was good and we brought a good intensity.
“We dipped a little at the start of the second-half but I felt we got on top of things near the end. We’re happy that we’ll get another shot at it. It’s about taking the learnings now from today and making it count next time out.”