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Murphy inspires Donegal to precious Super 8s win against Roscommon on the road

The Glenswilly star finished with 0-9.

Image: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Donegal 0-20
Roscommon 0-13

By Declan Rooney at Dr Hyde Park

DONEGAL ARE ONE win away from a spot in the All-Ireland semi-final after Michael Murphy fired them to a precious two points against Roscommon at Dr Hyde Park.

Nine points from the Donegal captain was key to this victory, while Odhrán Mac Niallais kicked four from play in an impressive team showing.

Roscommon manager Kevin McStay was asked to leave the sideline during the half-time interval following an altercation with an official, but his side fell away in the secOnd half in the face of Murphy’s brillaince.

Boosted by the return of David Murray to the starting team following a successful appeal of the red card he earned against Tyrone last week, Roscommon got off to a great start when Ciaráin Murtagh kicked a great point in the third minute from distance.

Two minutes later a long, diagonal ball from Conor Devaney found Diarmuid Murtagh in space behind the Donegal full-back line, but by the time he turned back towards goal the chance was gone and he blazed over for a point to double their advantage.

Donegal took their time in finding their feet in this clash and wides from Ciarán Thompson and Jamie Brennan marred their first two attacks, but Brennan got them off the mark in the sixth minute with a point from the left.

Leo McLoone, Michael Langan and Paddy McGrath with Padraig Kelly and Tadhg O'Rourke Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Brian Stack pushed Roscommon ahead with a good point, but they needed a stunning save from Colm Lavin to deny Brennan moments later — although Murphy added the 45 the followed the save to level matters.

Murphy started at midfield for Donegal and spent most of the opening half around that zone, but he also appeared at the edge of the square on an intermittent basis. Wherever he went Niall McInerney followed, but the Roscommon full back was unable to stem the flow of scores as Donegal kicked seven unanswered scores.

Four of those came from Murphy – the last two as he slotted into the full-forward role – while Thompson and Odhrán Mac Niallais also found their range, while Michael Langan got on the end of a great counter attack to give his side a 0-10 to 0-5 half-time lead.

There was some action after the half-time whistle when Roscommon manager Kevin McStay appeared to hit one of the officials in the head with the ball, and after a visit to the referees’ dressing room at the interval, McStay didn’t appear on the sideline for the second half.

But his team started well and matched Donegal point for point, with Stack, Ciaráin Murtagh and Enda Smith on target, although Odhran Mac Niallais ensured Donegal maintained their half-time advantage with a point off either foot.

Back into the full-forward line, Murphy popped up with a score n the turn after 44 minutes, and he brought his personal tally to eight eight minutes later with a brilliant team score.

Fintan Cregg with Odhran Mac Niallais Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

As Roscommon chased the game, Stack was denied a goal by a fine Patton save, but Donegal came even closer to the fist goal when Mac Niallais rattled the post. Three scores in a row saw Roscommon close to within five points with ten minutes remaining, but Murphy’s free clinched it for Donegal.

Scorers for Donegal: Michael Murphy 0-9 (3f, 1’45), Odhran Mac Niallais 0-4, Ciaran Thompson 0-2 (1f), Ryan McHugh 0-1, Jamie Brennan 0-1, Michael Langan 0-1, Leo McLoone 0-1, Martin Reilly 0-1.

Scorers for Roscommon: Ciarain Murtagh 0-5 (3f), Diarmuid Murtagh 0-2, Brian Stack 0-2, Donal Smith 0-2, Cathal Compton 0-1, Enda Smith 0-1.


1. Shaun Patton (St Eunan’s)

2. Paddy McGrath (Ardnara)
6. Paul Brennan (Bundoran)
17. Stephen McMenamin (Red Hugh’s Killygordan)

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26. Eamonn Doherty (St Eunan’s)
5. Frank McGlynn (Glenfin)
4. Eoghan Ban Gallagher (Killybegs)

8. Hugh McFadden (Killybegs)
14. Michael Murphy (Glenswilly)

12. Ciaran Thompson (Naomh Conaill)
11. Michael Langan (St Micheal’s)
9. Leo McLoone (Naomh Conaill)

13. Odhran Mac Niallais (Gaoth Dobhair)
15. Jamie Brennan (Bundoran)
7. Ryan McHugh (Kilcar)


3. Niall McGee (Gaoth Dobhair) for Gallagher (18)
10. Niall O’Donnell (St Eunan’s) for Brennan (53)
23. Anthony Thompson (Naomh Conaill) for McGlynn (54)
20. Daire O Baoill (Gaoth Dobhair) for Brennan (62)
19. Mark McHugh (Kilcar) for Ciaran Thompson (62)
25. Martin Reilly (Sean Mac Cumhaill) for Michael Langan (66).


1. Colm Lavin (Eire Og)

26. David Murray (Padraig Pearses)
3. Niall McInerney (St Brigid’s)
5. John McManus (Roscommon Gaels

6. Fintan Cregg (Elphin)
4. Sean McDermott (Western Gaels)
7. Conor Devaney (Kilbride)

8. Tadgh O’Rourke (Tulsk)
9. Cathal Compton (Strokestown)

10. Ciarain Murtagh (St Faithleachs)
11. Niall Kilroy (Fuerty)
12. Enda Smith (Boyle)

13. Diarmuid Murtagh (St Faithleachs)
14. Brian Stack (St Brigid’s)
15. Cathal Cregg (Western Gaels)


18. Ciaran Lennon (Clann na nGael) for Compton (h-t)
19. Donal Smith (Boyle) for C Cregg (45);
20. Finbar Cregg (Western Gaels) for McDermott (48);
23. Padraig Kelly (St Brigid’s) for Stack (58)
21. Ian Kilbride (St Brigid’s) for Fintan Cregg (61)
25. Shane Killoran (Elphin) for Kilroy (67)

Referee: Ciaran Branagan (Down).

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About the author:

Declan Rooney

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