Turlough O'Brien felt Carlow let Monaghan off the hook in tonight's All-Ireland SFC Round 3B qualifier.
A huge upset looked to be on the cards at Netwatch Cullen Park when Garry Kelly's goal put the hosts two points up in the second half, but their Division 1 opponents finished strongly to win by five and end the Barrowsiders' fairytale run.
"We gave it everything, we'd nothing left in the tank at the end of the game," the proud Carlow manager told RTÉ.
"I think Monaghan just got out by the skin of their teeth. We turned over a bit of ball towards the end and they got scores off it and that was the difference.
"I think we matched them all the way through and showed that Carlow can compete at the very highest levels.
"[The run has] been exceptional, we've been starved for all our careers, we've had no success and we were so close to getting through to the next round. [We got] fantastic support from around the county, everybody is so proud of the team. They are going to will it on next year to success."