The Sporting Diary

with Sports Editor Peter Campbell

The Sporting Diary

Murphy Magic

Those who made their way to Bundoran on Sunday last were treated to some Murphy Magic as the county captain made a dramatic return from injury to inspire Glenswilly to an easy win against the locals.

After the game Murphy was still on the pitch, talking to kids and locals, just as he does after every match.

Those of us who were present for the game were privileged to see such an array of talent on view in the opening half. With Neil Gallagher providing the pin-point supply, Murphy was just magic, flicking passes for goals; hitting the crossbar and generally being the great team player that he is. Bundoran just didn’t know what hit them and by half-time the game was done and dusted.

He probably won’t be allowed as much room against other teams, as Bundoran seemed to be caught in the headlights on Sunday.

It just proved that Glenswilly, with Murphy and Neil Gallagher on board, still pose a serious threat in the club championship.

Crisis in the making

Staying with the club championship, the quarter-final draw was made on Monday night and the obvious five-star encounter is the repeat of last year’s final pairing of Naomh Conaill and St. Eunan’s.

“You have to get them at some stage, and it might as well be now,” was the reaction of one Naomh Conaill supporter I met on Monday night.

I’m sure Malin and Glenswilly were fairly happy to avoid the Letterkenny men.

It is a game that could take a replay to sort, and that is the reason for the subhead above. It is learned that any replays of the quarter-finals will be played midweek as the semi-finals are planned for the following weekend.

The schedule for the remainder of the senior championship is - quarter-finals, weekend of 24/25th September; semi-finals 1/2nd October with final set for Sunday, 16th October.

Should there be a number of draws, then there could be a fixture crisis.

As far as I understand it is even tighter for the Intermediate with the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final on successive weeks.

Many are wondering why this coming weekend was not used for the quarter-finals and that would have given the authorities some leeway for replays. It would also give the players and clubs some time to prepare if replays are needed. Remember what happened in 2012 with a raft of midweek games in order to get championship run off in time.

An opportunity to avoid that may have been missed by not having games this weekend.

Captain Coleman

What an honour for Killybegs and Donegal. Seamus Coleman retained the captaincy of the Ireland team for the start of the World Cup qualifiers in Serbia on Monday night, despite the fact that former captain, John O’Shea, was also in the team.

Even though Coleman was only recovered from injury, which has kept him out for the last month, his stature is now such that Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane want him as their leader on the field.

Indeed, he showed that leadership when selected in O’Shea’s absence at the Euros in France and it was surprising to hear that Eamon Dunphy had a different opinion when discussing the matter on RTE on Monday night.

Dunphy explains himself on the back page of today’s Donegal Democrat, but one feels he is slightly off the mark, especially in relation to the way Coleman performed at the Euros as captain.

To be selected by leaders like O’Neill and Keane as captain material is good enough for me!