Sunday 25 February 2018

Murphy hails Glenswilly attitude in 'unprecedented' victory

Donegal's Michael Murphy. Photo: Sportsfile
Donegal's Michael Murphy. Photo: Sportsfile

Chris McNulty

Michael Murphy's reaction at the final whistle told the story of what their latest Donegal SFC triumph meant to Glenswilly.

Sunday's was their fifth time appearing in the final since 2007, and their 1-10 to 0-12 win over favourites Kilcar was their third winning of the Dr Maguire Cup.

Few neutrals gave them a chance. Some bookmakers had them at 6/1 for Sunday's final against Martin McHugh's Kilcar, but Murphy's goal and a towering performance saw Glenswilly add to their victories of 2011 and 2013.

"With the other two you were going in with a whimper and a prayer, but for this one, we were written off from all quarters, and probably rightly so," said Murphy, who has been man of the match in each of the county finals Glenswilly have won.

"We were scrapping by in championship games, and Kilcar were phenomenal, absolutely flying. But the attitude of our players to a man was just incredible. Their character and their sheer desire to win, they just stood up as men.

"It is unprecedented - we were bottom of the league and we had no form coming into it."

At the long whistle Murphy exploded, leaping into the arms of his father, Mick, a club stalwart and founding member.

They were soon beneath a posse of team-mates and backroom staff after perhaps the sweetest of their wins.

"Last week we wanted to stay up in the league and give a good account of ourselves in the final," Murphy said.

"Kilcar had a number of bad wides and things like that. Our only real opportunity was to pack it out and ride our luck as best we can."

Glenswilly have won more games in the last six weeks than they had in the previous six months.

Their Championship hopes hung by a thread after losing to Ardara in the opening group game, but the return to form of Murphy and Neil Gallagher sparked them into life.

With Donegal, Murphy had a disappointing year, losing the Ulster final to Tyrone and the All-Ireland quarter-final to Dublin.

After fielding questions about his form and fitness all summer, Murphy answered them in emphatic style on Sunday.

And he warned: "Listen, we'll come back again with Donegal.

"There's enough good number of young players around this county that Donegal football is going to be strong again, but we need to get back and working hard again."

Irish Independent

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