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Michael Murphy of Donegal in action against Niall McInerney of Roscommon during the GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Quarter-Final Group 2 Phase 2 match between Roscommon and Donegal at Dr Hyde Park.
Michael Murphy of Donegal in action against Niall McInerney of Roscommon during the GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Quarter-Final Group 2 Phase 2 match between Roscommon and Donegal at Dr Hyde Park.

Murphy inspires Donegal to victory over Roscommon


All-Ireland SFC Phase 2 Quarter-Final

DONEGAL 0-20 ROSCOMMON 0-13

By Declan Rooney at Dr. Hyde Park

Roscommon’s hopes of reaching the All-Ireland semi-final for the first time since 1991 are all but over after Michael Murphy fired Donegal to victory at Dr Hyde Park.

A second defeat in as many weekends means Roscommon need a miracle to progress to the semi-finals, but Donegal’s All-Ireland dream is back on track after their first win.

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 Jamie Brennan got them off the mark in the sixth minute with a point from the left.

Brian Stack pushed Roscommon ahead with a good point, but they needed a stunning save from Colm Lavin to deny Jamie Brennan moments later – although Murphy added the 45 that 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 before Michael Langan got on the end of a great counter attack to give his side a 0-10 to 0-5 half-time lead.

Roscommon started the second half 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 on the turn after 44 minutes, and he brought his personal tally to eight eight minutes later with a brilliant team score.

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 Reily 0-1.

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

DONEGAL: Shaun Patton; Paddy McGrath, Paul Brennan, Stephen McMenamin; Eamonn Doherty, Frank McGlynn, Eoghan Ban Gallagher; Hugh McFadden, Michael Murphy; Ciaran Thompson, Michael Langan, Leo McLoone; Odhran Mac Niallais, Jamie Brennan, Ryan McHugh Subs: Neil McGee for Eoghan Ban Gallagher (18), Niall O’Donnell for Jamie Brennan (53), Anthony Tompson for Frank McGlynn (54), Daire O’Baoill for Paul Brennan (62), Mark McHugh for Ciaran Thompson (62), Martin Reilly for Michael Langan (66).

ROSCOMMON: Colm Lavin; David Murray, Niall McInerney, John McManus; Fintan Cregg, Sean McDermott, Conor Devaney (c); Tadgh O’Rourke, Cathal Compton; Ciarain Murtagh, Niall Kilroy, Enda Smith; Diarmuid Murtagh, Brian Stack, Cathal Cregg Subs: Ciaran Lennon for Cathal Compton (h-t), Donal Smith for Cathal Cregg (45), Finbar Cregg for Sean McDermott (48), Padraig Kelly for Brian Stack (58), Ian Kilbride for Fintan Cregg (61), Shane Killoran for Niall Kilroy (67).

Referee: Ciaran Branagan (Down)

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