The experienced Barry Mulrone admitted that the finish to last Saturday’s game was disappointing from a Devenish point of view as they made their exit from the Ulster Club IFC.

Devenish had looked as if they may push on when they got their noses on front for the first time in the game with just under ten minutes to go, but Castlerahan landed the final four points of the contest to progress to the last four of the competition.

“It was disappointing, how it finished out for us,” said Mulrone. “I thought we were in the ascendancy when we hit two in a row to go 0-10 to 0-09 up and I thought that they looked as if they were panicking a wee bit and we were controlling it.

“But it came down to those last couple of minutes and not taking the goal chances that we had in the first half, and a couple of other efforts that dropped short unfortunately came back to bite us, and we didn’t have it in us to finish it out for the last five minutes.

“I’m very proud though of the boys and the management, and I thought we were very capable throughout the whole game,” he added.

When the dust settles, the Garrison outfit will be able to take a lot of positives from their Championship campaign as they picked themselves up from the disappointment of relegation in the league.

“A lot of the boys have come out of their shell a bit over the last year or 18 months. The likes of Ruairi Maguire, Conor McGowan, Chrissie McGowan, Malachy O’Flanagan, Lorcan O’Brien have really shown what they are capable of at Intermediate level, and no disrespect to any of the other teams, but I thought we were the best team in Intermediate this year.

“I don’t think that there is a massive difference between the top sides at Intermediate, and those playing Senior Championship, you just have to look at where Enniskillen are now and Erne Gaels too after winning the last two Intermediate titles.

“Obviously, you want to keep everybody fit and away from injury, but I see no reason why we won’t be in for another positive season next season after a wee break.

“We have a really good age profile in the squad, and we have another four good players coming into the group from Minors for next year to add to that,” he said.

And the first goal in 2023 for Devenish will be to try and get back up to Division One, although Mulrone acknowledges that Division Two has the look of a competitive league next year.

“We were extremely disappointed to lose our Division One status after a 40-odd year stay and we’ll be looking to perform as well as we can in Division Two next year, although we know it will be tricky.

“You have the likes of Newtown, who are going well again, Roslea came down with ourselves, and you have the likes of Tempo and Teemore.

“It is probably as tight a Division Two as there has been over the last while, so it is going to be competitive but we’ll look to get as many wins as we can and hopefully that will get us back up to where we should be,” said Mulrone.