However, Drummond rescued a point for Morecambe with the equaliser 10 minutes from time.
"It was a fantastic game and I thought my lads were absolutely magnificent," McIlroy said. "We knew it was going to be tough and everyone thought it was going to be a promotion party for Exeter, but I thought we did very well.
"We should have been two or three up by half-time and had a great opening, but we didn't do that. We knew Exeter would come back and we had a mad five minutes at the start of the second half and I think that cost us.
"We had a go and we have had a go all season. We weren't quite good enough to get into the play-offs, but I am proud of my players for their effort. Hopefully, I can improve in the summer and we will see where that takes us."