It’s been a decent few weeks for Fermanagh GAA that will hopefully warm the cockles in the few festive weeks that lie ahead before the Dr McKenna Cup will awaken us from post Christmas slumber. 
But where to actually categorise these few weeks is the real question that has emerged?
Derrygonnelly Harps showing real competitiveness in the Ulster Club senior arena, Belnaleck getting to the Ulster Junior final and competing well, Derrygonnelly’s U16s getting to the Paul McGirr semi-final and St. Michael’s College returning to an Ulster Colleges final for only the second time in 11 years. Ultimately all four ended in defeat and, quite literally in tears for some. 
There is no doubt this amateur game demands much both physically and emotionally of its players and there will be much licking of wounds in the coming weeks. 
But that is also the beauty of sport; there is always the next day and there is always another bite of the cherry. 
Indeed, there is not a player in any sport that has not faced abject disappointment somewhere along the line. The old cliché about it’s not how far you fall but how far you bounce back is relevant but it is not the most relevant matter. 
What is important is about putting the processes in place that will get you back to that final get you back to those final 15 minutes of an intense final or semi-final where the game is there for the taking. 
Bouncebackability is only a concept and it is not even a real word to be fair. 
When you look at the success of Derrygonnelly Harps within Fermanagh at senior and underage level, a small rural club on the periphery of larger towns and villages it makes you wonder why them? 
It’s simply down to process. Top class coaching at youth and senior level, the loyalty to the jersey, the focus of the club being a community hub and most importantly having the people with the ability to match together idealism and stated goals with reality on and off the pitch.
I was interested to notice one Saturday morning at the Lakeland Forum, the three Jones brothers Ryan, Conall and Garvan coming out of the leisure centre. 
Nothing spectacular in that you might think other than it was only 14 hours after the trio had helped Derrygonnelly defeat old rivals Roslea Shamrocks in the Fermanagh semi-final on the Friday. 
They boys were starting their recovery from the game and already looking to the next game. Those lads are setting the standards of how they want to prepare and it can only rub off on those around them. 
And, that is what it is all about these days. It’s about discipline, it’s about hunger, desire, commitment and it’s about being as professional as you can be. Those are the processes that will get you back to the top. 
This is really is the crux of the matter. You only bounce back if you repeat,  improve or trust the process and then when you are in  the heat of battle again, and only then, will the experience of a previous defeat really come to the fore. 
Importantly, though, for this all to happen you need the right infrastructure behind it all across the whole county.
The Derrygonnelly club has that and within Fermanagh GAA the work of Club  Éirne, the work of Shaun Doherty and Sean Bradley has to be crucial. The system has to be in place to produce the best from the talent within our county. 
Better youth payers makes better club players makes better senior inter-county players. 
In recent times, Fermanagh GAA has been poor within the Ulster arena. Derrygonnelly, Belnaleck and St. Michael’s have shown recently that we can be competitive but that alone is not enough. Sport at this level is about winning. 
So while the last few weeks have been better, there is more to go. 
When the Harps, Belnaleck and St. Michael’s get over the pain, hopefully their players will want more of what they enjoyed in recent weeks, big games on the big stage. 
If they believe in what they are doing, work hard and improve there is no reason why the tears cannot be turned to cheers.