Dublin manager Jim Gavin was offering no excuses following his side's defeat to Donegal in the All-Ireland semi-final at Croke Park.

The Dubs were the hottest of hot favourites to advance to the decider and even though they began well, goals either side of half-time from Ryan McHugh were the launching pad for Jim McGuinness' side to carve out a famous win

"We were beaten by a better Donegal team on the day," was Gavin's immediate reaction when he spoke to RTÉ Sport. 

"They controlled the ball very well and put us under a lot of pressure and went hard at us. They took their goal chances and that's a credit to how they set themselves up. They were justifiable winners.

Gavin did praise the efforts of his own players and their willingness to keep going until the final whistle.  

"I'm just disappointed for the players, he added.

"The level of preparation they put into this game was phenomenal and I couldn't question their determination, their commitment or their resolve to the bitter end, to keep going."

The Dublin boss also paid tribute to his Donegal counterpart.

"I have the height of respect for Jim {McGuinness} and what he has achieved. 

"We've had some great clashes down the years and I wish him the best of luck in the All-Ireland final. It will be a cracking game between themselves and Kerry and may the best team win."