There was no hiding the disappointment.
Finals may have become commonplace in Castlebellingham of late, but a provincial title is a rarity, even for the best of clubs.
But after Sunday’s game in Drogheda, O’Connell’s boss Wayne McKeever was still proud of every one of his players.
“Every one of them have been great all year and I couldn’t have asked for any more from them. I really am just gutted for them today. It was a great chance here, at home in Drogheda, but it just wasn’t to be.
”It’ll be a tough lesson for his young team, but McKeever believes it could benefit them in the future.“Maybe being in all competitions this year is making it harder to keep the boys going, they’re a young team, but hopefully they’ll learn from today.”
2012 isn’t over yet and a shot at St Patrick’s on Sunday could prove the perfect tonic for this hangover, according to the O’Connell’s boss.
“The best thing about football is that if you’re beaten one week you don’t have to wait too long for another game to come around. It back to the drawing board next week and prove ourselves against the Pat’s.”
McKeever knew before Sunday’s match that he would have to fight fire with fire when it came to the Kildare Champions. And that meant stopping them scoring as much as they stopped his side scoring.
“I knew it would be a very low scoring game. And I knew the way that Monasterevan would set themselves out that it would be very hard to score, so we had to try and match that.
“We had to make it equally difficult for them to score. Sure they had a few free kicks, but we knew that once we were within touching distance at half time that we could push on, however it wasn’t enough on the day.”
O’Connell’s looked in good stead as the game was closing out, those three early second half points had put them in the driving seat. But more was needed and McKeever knew it as well.
“I was really hoping that we would hit the onion bag at that stage of the game and it would have killed off the game. It was little purple patch for us.
“Every team gets ten minutes. I said it to the boys at half time and out time came after half time. With only ten minutes to go I thought we could get over the line, but it wasn’t good enough on the day.”