It's only a semi-final, nothing else' - Murphy

It's only a semi-final, nothing else' - Murphy
Tom Comack sport@donegaldemocrat.com @dgldemocrat

Donegal captain Michael Murphy wasn’t jumping up and down after Saturday night’s one point victory over Monaghan.

The skipper was delighted to have won the game and having qualified for a sixth Ulster final in-a-row.

But he insisted it was just a semi-final and no more than that and it was now a matter of getting down to focussing on the Ulster final and either Tyrone or Cavan.

“We are delighted to get over the line and that is what it is, over the line, and we now want to get ready for a huge battle with the winners of Tyrone and Cavan,” said the captain in the immediate aftermath of Saturday night’s game.

Reflecting on the game the captain insisted it had been a tough, hard encounter and they were relieved that they had held on for the win.

“It was a massive battle where the whole team put in a huge shift over the last couple of weeks for that result out there tonight.”

Donegal dominated the early exchanges and led 0-5 to 0-0 at the end of the first quarter hour.

But they then conceded two goals to allow Monaghan back into the game and to leave Donegal just two points up at the break.

“We have the habit of doing that and Monaghan always possess the danger of scoring goals.

“We would not be happy with the way we switched off for the first one. In championship football it is something you will always get punished for if you allow it happen.

“A penalty is a penalty and I did not get the opportunity to see it clearly, but Conor McManus took it well and he is forever a danger.

“But we kept plugging away and kept trying to be dangerous and kept trying to get scores.

“Thankfully we created a number of opportunities that we were able to take and a number of others that did not go for us.

“We kept battling and it could have gone either way at the end but thanks be to God we hung in there.

“It was always going to take a big second half. In championship football for any period of time you are going to get devoured.

“It took a huge first half and it took a huge second half and we have a lot of sore bodies after it.

“We will park that game now and get ready for Tyrone and Cavan. It is going to be a huge test because all we have won today is an Ulster semi-final, it is no more and no less.”

The captain also said that he was happy with the level of fitness and despite going down to 14 late on following red card for Rory Kavanagh.

“That is what you do your training for. When you go back at the start of the year and you ask yourselves the questions during the months when you are back and are slogging and you are asking yourself are you getting fitter.

“We have players to come back and we are looking forward to having a bigger and stronger panel.

“The most important thing for us now is to get the minds and bodies right to get the bangs sorted out and get ready to get back on the road again and to give the huge support that has followed us up here for the last two weeks the performance they deserve,” said Murphy.