The disappointment of Sunday’s Ulster semi final loss to Kilcoo has not yet subsided for Garvan McGinley but the experienced half back acknowledges that they can look back on an Ulster campaign that has seen them make good improvement as they more than held their own with the best in province.

The Harps went into Ulster with only one win from their four previous campaigns but victories over Cargin and Trillick in recent weeks has shown that they can not only compete with but beat the best.

“When you get over the initial disappointment, I suppose this year we have proved that we are up there with those teams. The last few years we probably felt we were there but we didn’t show it and ultimately we didn’t win it this year but we have shown that we’ve improved and we are not out of place in that company.

“There is no point in being competitive if you are not coming out with the result and this year we got two good results against Cargin and a fancied Trillick team and really we were, I felt, as good as Kilcoo,” he said.

He felt though that mistakes at both ends proved costly for the Harps on the day.

“Kilcoo were maybe that wee bit smarter than us and I suppose more economical with their chances as we missed a few chances. At the same time we switched off for their goal so you have to look at it at both ends from our perspective.

“There is not much that you can do about it now, you just have to go back next year and look to improve on it.”

And it was the Kilcoo goal that was to be the key score and came at a time when the Harps were in the ascendancy.

“It was a sucker punch at the time and was a bit deflating because we felt we were getting a good foothold in the game. We had got back on top at midfield during that period, we were winning ball and got back to level only to be hit with that sucker punch,” he added.

Derrygonnelly continued to battle hard to the finish but Kilcoo were able to hold on and McGinley admits that another tilt at Ulster seems a long way away.

“You are not in that competition, you are back in Fermanagh in the first round and you can’t look any further than that. It is more disappointing because you might not be back in it at all.”

The run though will no doubt have whet the appetite for more and with players to come back from injury and some talented youth players also coming through they can look ahead with optimism to next year.

McGinley stresses that you never know what is around the corner in terms of player availability but is confident that they have the squad to cope if they are to lose a few players.

“At this stage last year we didn’t really know we were going to be missing Wardy or Gary McKenna although we knew that Leigh (Jones) was going away. You just don’t know who will be away or out injured but there is a good group there and a couple of good young lads coming through. I think if we do lose a few there is others there who can step up and that’s what you want.”