Donegal did not do enough to win All-Ireland - McBrearty

Patrick McBrearty attacks the Kerry defence during the All-Ireland final. Photo Thomas Gallagher INDP 2209 Donegal Minors TG61
Patrick McBrearty attacks the Kerry defence during the All-Ireland final. Photo Thomas Gallagher INDP 2209 Donegal Minors TG61

Sunday was doubly disappointing for the McBrearty clan in Kilcar.

For both Stephen and Patrick McBrearty tasted the bitter bile of double defeat to the Kingdom on the ultimate stage.

Patrick was sprung from the bench and hit two fine points, and was almost through for a goal in those final frenetic moments when Donegal desperately tried to hit that al important levelling goal.

“Of course you want to win an All-Ireland so it was doubly disappointing when you come out on the wrong side of it.

“And maybe our performances over the summer were quite good enough and that makes it hard to take,” said the 21 year-old with an All-Ireland medal and three Ulster titles.

“When you look at the match out there today, we were just not good enough to win an All-Ireland final,” said McBrearty, speaking after the game outside the dressing room under the Hogan Stand.

And like Christy Toye, he is quite adamant that Kieran Donaghy’s tragic goal was not the turning point in yesterday’s crushing defeat.

“No way, it was just that all of us did not perform collectively”.

Donegal had the worst possible start, but did not lie under Paul Geaney’s early sucker punch goal.

“At half-time we went in at 0-6 to 1-3 and really felt we were in with a good chance of winning”.

Donegal actually briefly led through yet another Michael Murphy effort early in the second half.

But this was only one of three points scored in fifteen of the worst minutes of football witnessed in Croke Park in many a day.

“They got that goal and then they started tagging on a few points and they were very hard to break down.

“I felt that we were reasonably well in control by half-time.

“We felt that Kerry needed a big start and they got it and we were just trying to see if we could get it back and we did.

“We felt we were in a good place at half-time.

“But our performance over the 70 minutes just was not good enough.

“We were in control for a period but goals go in and these things can happen in an All-Ireland final”.

McBrearty was bearing down on goal in a last ditch effort to find the Kerry net.

“It just slipped from my hand and Colm McFadden hit the post.

“Unfortunately small margins win games and they managed to get two and that was the winning of the game”.

He admitted that both he and younger brother Stephen had “high expectations going into the game”.

“We were hoping to do the double but these things happen in football and you just try and take the wins with the losses”.

He admitted that the future could be an issue for some of the older players but said he had no intention of quitting.

“It is not an issue for us younger fellows but I suppose the older lads will have their own views on it.

“We just did not perform all over the field.

“We never grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck and just were not good enough over the 70 minutes”.

And Kerry’s backhanded compliment in playing a Donegal type defensive system is small comfort to McBrearty.

“I suppose it is a bit frustrating to be beaten by your own system, but the best team won”.

Indeed.