Murphy shows the way for Donegal in stroll past depleted Laois
Donegal will never have it easier than they did against Laois in Ballyshannon.
The Leinster men travelled north short quite a number of players because of suspensions and club commitments and, apart from a brief spell early in the second half, they were overwhelmed.
Donegal were put on their way on nine minutes when Conall Dunne was on the end of a move started by Kevin Cassidy (playing his 100th game for the county) and flicked on by Michael Murphy.
Dunne's goal helped Donegal to a 1-5 to 0-0 lead after 19 minutes, Barry Monaghan and David Walsh also getting in on the scoring.
Even when Laois did get inside the Donegal scoring area, a free from MJ Tierney went over off an upright but was waved wide.
Donal Kingston did get them on the scoreboard a minute later and after an intervention from the Laois management and a linesman, the Tierney point was later awarded.
Donegal were 1-6 to 0-2 up at the break but Laois hit back with three quick points early in the second half to reduce the margin to five.
But that was as good as it got for the Leinster side. Donegal tagged on four points and then hit two goals in as many minutes from James Keaney and Murphy. Both were replaced immediately; Keaney's substitution carried over the public address even before he fired home.
Those two goals, in the 57th and 59th minutes, proved to be the last scores of the match as the game trundled to its conclusion.
Apart from Brendan Quigley, Colm Begley and Donal Kingston, the Leinster side were totally dominated all over the field.
Donegal had good displays from Neil McGee, Karl Lacey, Anthony Thompson, and Barry Monaghan and all their forwards got on the scoresheet apart from Adrian Hanlon.
Donegal manager John Joe Doherty said: "I don't think the scoreline did Laois any favours. They let their heads go down and that was unfortunate for them.
"We have made a decent start but we have Kildare in Newbridge in three weeks' time and we will know a lot more about ourselves after that."
SCORERS -- Donegal: M Murphy 1-3 (3f); C McFadden 0-4 (2f); C Dunne, J Keaney 1-0 each; S Griffin 0-2; B Monaghan, D Walsh 0-1 each. Laois: D Kingston 0-2; D Carroll, C Begley, MJ Tierney (1f) 0-1 each.
Donegal -- P Durcan; J Keaney, N McGee, K Lacey; A Thompson, F McGlynn, K Cassidy; N Gallagher, B Monaghan; C Dunne, D Walsh, S Griffin; C McFadden, M Murphy , A Hanlon. Subs: M Maguire for Keaney (57); E Kelly for Murphy (59); F McNulty for Dunne (63); G Concarr for Hanlon (63); M McGowan for McGlynn (66).
Laois -- C Gorman; J Scully, C Ryan, P McMahon; D Strong, M Timmins, C Begley; B Quigley, C Og Greene; C Coss, P Lawlor, N Donoher; M J Tierney, D Kingston, D Carroll. Subs: D Miller for Coss (h-t), R Munnelly for Carroll (50), D Flaherty for Lawlor (61); M Dowling for Gorman.
Ref -- Michael Duffy (Sligo).