Michael Murphy injury update won't completely settle Donegal nerves
DONEGAL 2-25 DOWN 1-12
On Saturday, it was Kerry fans fretting over David Clifford. Donegal supporters are mid-way through the wringer after Michael Murphy walked gingerly off today.
Dublin are already heavy favourites for their seventh Sam Maguire in a row. Without kicking a ball, their odds of winning again in Croke Park, this August, could get even more prohibitive.
Donegal sliced and diced Down to advance to the Ulster quarter finals. Paddy McBrearty and Ryan McHugh excelled, yet again, while Jamie Brennan came off the bench to nab 1-1 for himself.
Up next for Declan Bonner's side are a Derry team that won the Allianz Leagues Division 3 final and have looked bold in attack under Rory Gallagher. The big talking point from Páirc Esler, though, was Michael Murphy and his iffy hamstring.
The Donegal captain had scored 0-2 [one score from play] when the hamstring that had troubled him in the league came back twanging again. Murphy had looked good for 27 minutes and then he felt that old, familiar and annoying pull.
Off he went, looking glum. Cursing his luck after tearing up trees in training only to get the tweak when he was in his pomp.
Donegal hardly missed him and Bonner will be pleased that his team had 11 different scorers against Down. Following the game, Murphy told reporters that he hoped his hamstring was 'not too bad'. It was left to Bonner to provide whatever extra clarity he could give, especially with Murphy not due for a scan until early in the week. He told Donegal Sports Hub:
"I don’t think he has done any extra damage. I’ll go back inside and speak to the medical team. We’ll get him assessed."
"He tightened up and we just took him out as a precaution," he added. "Michael is about long enough so he knows when he has to come out. We got him out at the right time."
Murphy and Donegal have two weeks before the Derry game, in the last eight. We may see Donegal start their captain on the bench, on July 11, and hope they do not need to call on him.