Sunday 25 February 2018

Goalscorer, Man of the Match and championship sponsor: The Donegal county final was all about one man

Will Slattery

Will Slattery

Michael Murphy is asked to shoulder a lot of the burden when he plays for his county.

The two-time All Star is moved about the field for Donegal on a needs must basis, helping them win the All-Ireland title in 2012 on the edge of the square but also spending plenty of time dominating midfield and even dropping back deeper to help launch attacks.

You could definitely make a clichéd joke that all that is missing from Murphy's workload is having him drive the team bus but yesterday's Donegal county final showed that such a statement isn't far off the mark.

Sure, the All-Ireland-winning captain didn't drive his Glenswilly team-mates to their clash with Kilcar, but the very final that the teams were playing in already had Murphy's stamp on it before a ball was thrown in.

Amazingly, Glenswilly won their third county title with a one point victory in the Michael Murphy Sports and Leisure Donegal SFC final.

The team's star player, their inter-county stud, also happens to sponsor the tournament that Glenswilly were playing in.

Murphy, along with another two-time Donegal All Star Neil Gallagher, run the sports and leisure shop together in Letterkenny but yesterday they teamed up on the field to help Glenswilly to a famous victory as 6/1 underdogs.

Not content with helping fund the competition, Murphy extended his remarkable county final record with a Man of the Match haul of 1-5.

Glenswilly have now won three county titles - 2011, 2013 and 2016 - and Murphy has been the Man of the Match in all three.

The manner in which Murphy's decisive goal came about was fitting too - he was picked out by Gallagher in the full-forward line before firing the ball to the net.

The duo have combined for club, county and business success, and yesterday's victorious county final was a showcase for all three.

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