The fitness of Michael Murphy will be the Donegal management’s immediate concern following their Allianz National Football League Division One loss against Dublin at Croke Park last night.
The Donegal skipper was taken from the field with 11 remaining with what appeared to be a ankle knock as the All-Ireland champions finished strongly to win on a slightly flattering scoreline, 2-16 to 0-13, with the last two scores of the game being goals from Bryan Cullen and Diarmuid Connolly.
“Unfortunately we worked hard to get ourselves back into the game there tonight in the second half but Dublin pulled away in the final quarter,” the Allianz/Setanta Sports man of the match Murphy said afterwards. “Maybe that’s something we have to look at, when the game is in the melting pot and credit where credit is due, Dublin took the game by the scruff of the neck.
“We are a team and we try and put our shoulder to the wheel. In the first half we just hung in there but in the second we tried our best. We clawed our way back into in. Unfortunately for us Dublin took control.”
Murphy wanted to stay on following a knock picked up when challenging Dublin substitute Sean Murray and Donegal manager Jim McGuinness was last night keeping his fingers crossed the Glenswilly forward would be fit to conclude the league campaign - more importantly to have him available to take on Cavan in the Ulster preliminary round at Kingspan Breffni Park on May 20.
“The knee is grand I think and there’s no point in deciding now,” Murphy said of his injury afterwards. “It was sore when it happened but we’ll see what the medics say.”
Donegal, who were minus the suspended Rory Kavanagh following his sending off against Mayo last Sunday in Ballyshannon, might point to the fact they had started the second half well to get back to 0-11 apiece by the time they lost their captain. Now, a home win against Armagh in Ballybofey on Easter Sunday, April 8, looks like it is required to keep Donegal in the top flight.