Having waited 30 years for a return to the All-Ireland semi-final, Monaghan's footballers will feel grave disappointment that they could not overcome Tyrone for a second time during this Championship season. As far as Jim McGuinness is concerned, it was a case of the occasion taking its toll on Malachy O'Rourke's men.
Speaking in the Sky Sports studio, the former Donegal player and manager likened Monaghan to "a rabbit in the headlights today," as they "contrived to get themselves into a good position late in the game," before throwing it all away.
In a hotly-contested battle between themselves and Tyrone in Croke Park today, both sides were still very much in it as the match boiled down to its final few minutes.
With Monaghan looking to have marginal control of the game, Tyrone's Niall Sludden grabbed a goal that overturned Monaghan's one-point lead and left Tyrone the team to beat.
What a finish from Tyrone's Niall Sludden! Rattles the net! pic.twitter.com/DQNgGUDPm0
— The GAA (@officialgaa) August 12, 2018
As far as McGuinness is concerned, this is what will hurt the Monaghan players most of all when they look back on today's defeat:
From a Monaghan point of view, I think it was said in commentary, this will be harrowing for them.
There is no doubt about that because you get that close, a point up with seven minutes to go, and you just contrive to throw it away.
It's a tough one to take for them.
Criticising the decision making of both sides, McGuinness believed Monaghan had more to answer for; "So much decision making was off today, all the traits we've seen all summer weren't there, particularly from Monaghan."
Joined in studio by Peter Canavan and James Horan, all three surmised that O'Rourke's side had allowed the occasion get the better of them, and appeared to forget the characteristics that had got them to this point in the first place.