Allianz Football League Division 1 – Donegal 1-7 Cork 0-6

Murphy return gives Donegal fresh impetus

Report from the Irish Indepdendent newspaper

Donegal secured got their first points of the campaign with a gritty display against Cork in MacCumhaill Park, Ballybofey. The return of Michael Murphy and Colm McFadden boosted the home side, with Murphy firing in a blistering goal after just 12 seconds. The big full-forward, who had groin surgery in January, fielded a Karl Lacey centre to turn and blast to the net. The home side dominated the early stages but failed to stamp their authority on the scoreboard and by half-time they had added just two more points, those coming late in the half, to lead by 1-2 to 0-4.

Colm O’Neill marked his return to the Cork colours with a good score; the two Donegal points came from a Murphy free and Frank McGlynn, while Aidan Walsh and Donncha O’Connor were among the Cork scorers. Walsh had made the journey to Donegal after playing in the Fitzgibbon Cup final on Saturday, and he registered Cork’s first point. “It’s been a while coming. I thought we were very deserving winners,” said Donegal assistant manager Rory Gallagher. “In the second half I thought there was only one team in it and but for poor finishing, we would have won easier. “Cork were a bit shell-shocked by the opening goal and we should have added a few more points but they were still in it at half-time. They took their chances much better than us,” added Gallagher, who felt that Cork were dominant for a period of the start of the second half.

Paddy Kelly was very influential in that period. He had the sides level inside three minutes and O’Neill had Cork ahead a minute later from a free. But the Rebels were unable to raise another flag for the rest of the game, a full 33 minutes, so they can have little complaint with the final outcome. Donegal’s inability to transfer possession into scores became worrying and they also had to pull Murphy out around midfield to gain parity in that area. But it was Murphy who levelled on 47 minutes with the point of the game with his left boot, and McFadden was denied a goal a few minutes later. But once Murphy put them back in front from a ’45, they never looked back with McFadden, Lacey and newcomer Martin O’Reilly pushing them clear. “It was very disappointing,” said Cork manager Conor Counihan. “There was a stage in the second half there where we got a point ahead and it might’ve been there for the taking but in fairness to Donegal they shut us down well.”

Man of the Match: M Murphy (Donegal)

Scorers — Donegal: M Murphy 1-3 (1f, 1 ’45’), F McGlynn, K Lacey, C McFadden, M O’Reilly 0-1 each. Cork: D O’Connor 0-2, A Walsh, C O’Neill, M Collins and P Kelly 0-1 each

Donegal — P Durcan 7; F McGlynn 6, N McGee 7, P McGrath 6; E McGee 5, K Lacey 7, L McLoone 5; R Kavanagh 7, N Gallagher 7; M McHugh 6, R Bradley 6, C Toye 5; D Walsh 5, M Murphy 8, C McFadden 5. Subs: P McBrearty 5 and A Thompson 5 for Toye and E McGee (34), M O’Reilly 6 for Walsh (45), D McLaughlin 5 for Bradley (52).

Cork — K O’Halloran 7; R Carey 5, E O’Mahony 6, E Cotter 6; N O’Leary 6, G Canty 6, P Kissane 7; A Walsh 7, F Goold 5; P Kerrigan 5, M Collins 6, P Kelly 7; C O’Neill 6, D O’Connor 6, B O’Driscoll 5. Subs: L Shorten 5 for O’Driscoll (61), J Fitzpatrick 5 for Goold (61), D O’Sullivan 4 for O’Neill (63).

Ref — P O’Sullivan (Kerry).


Murphy puts boot in Cork

Donegal 1-07 Cork 0-06

By Alan Foley for the Irish Examiner newspaper

The importance of Michael Murphy to Donegal’s cause was displayed in devastating fashion within 12 seconds of the first whistle in Ballybofey yesterday. The Donegal captain was making his first county appearance of the year having recovered from a groin operation and within moments of the throw-in out-jumped full-back Eoin O’Mahony from Karl Lacey’s ball before thumping past Ken O’Halloran for a lightning fast opening goal. And although Cork came back from that initial setback to get their noses in front in the opening stages of the second half, the hosts finished impressively to seal a four-point win, and their first win of the campaign after defeats to both Down and Laois.

Whether it be post or pre-match, Donegal boss Jim McGuinness had made constant reference to the defence of the Ulster championship, which gets underway at Breffni Park against Cavan in just 10 weeks time. As well as Murphy, experienced campaigners like Colm McFadden and Christy Toye were taking part in league football for the first time this season. Both were rusty although McGuinness admitted he was delighted to get them some game time. “One of the key things for us today was to get the boys back on the pitch and we did that,” the Donegal manager said. There were a lot of mistakes but to win the game in that situation is a bonus. It’s good to get up and running and it gives us some hope. It was nice to see Michael Murphy hit the back of the net, from his own point of view as well as ours.”

Despite the whirlwind opening, the first half petered out and, in terms of scoring at least, was pretty uneventful. Aidan Walsh, who had played in Saturday’s cliffhanger of a Fitzgibbon Cup final for Cork IT and made his way to the north-west with team physio Colin Lane, got Cork’s first point. The Kanturk midfielder was promoted from the bench prior to throw-in as Alan O’Connor was ruled out with a back injury.

It took the hosts 25 long minutes before adding a second point, from the unlikeliest of sources in corner-back Frank McGlynn. But it was Cork who finished the half stronger as points from Donncha O’Connor and Mark Collins point left just one between them — a Murphy score — at the interval, 1-2 to 0-4. The visitors started the second half strongly too and considering Cork scored 1-27 the last time the sides met — the 2009 All-Ireland quarter-final — locals were concerned.

Patrick Kelly and Colm O’Neill, making his first appearance in the league since his cruciate problems of last season, scored a welcome point. However, just when it looked like Cork were about to kick on and post a second win from three outings this term they chugged to a halt, failing to score in the final 29 minutes of the contest. From then on, Donegal seized their opportunity. Murphy’s role wasn’t as far forward as some might’ve liked but he slung over a useful 45 before three further scores swung the balance of power in favour of the Ulster champions with McFadden, Lacey and local boy Martin O’Reilly sealing the deal.

“It was very disappointing,” Cork manager Conor Counihan said afterwards. “There was a stage in the second half where we got a point ahead and it might’ve been there for the taking but in fairness to Donegal they shut us down well. There was an opportunity there, though, but we didn’t take it. We were very anxious to win today and we’re not going to hide that but we’ll have to just get on with it next week away to Laois.”

Scorers for Donegal: M Murphy 1-3 (1f, ‘45’), F McGlynn, K Lacey, C McFadden, M O’Reilly (0-1) Scorers for Cork: D O’Connor (0-2) A Walsh, C O’Neill, M Collins and P Kelly (0-1 each)

Subs for Donegal: P McBrearty and A Thompson for Toye and E McGee (31), M O’Reilly for Walsh (44), D McLaughlin for Bradley (51).

Subs for Cork: L Shorten and J Fitzpatrick for O’Driscoll and Goold (60), D O’Sullivan for O’Neill (62)

Referee: P O’Sullivan (Kerry)