Thursday 17 January 2019

Donegal to appeal Murphy's red

Donegal boss Jim McGuinness believes his side will need to raise their game for the Ulster semi-final clash with Tyrone, despite easily outclassing Cavan at Kingspan Breffni Park with a 2-14 to 1-8 win.

As matters currently stand McGuinness's side will also have to cope without skipper and ace attacker Michael Murphy for that last-four clash on June 26.


Murphy was sent off on a straight red card after 15 minutes. Cavan's Ray Cullivan was also given his marching orders after a scrappy start to the game.

However, Donegal are expected to appeal Murphy's red card and would look on video evidence of having a solid argument.

An inexperienced Cavan side, with six debutants on board, including five of the Ulster U21 Championship-winning squad, never looked like creating a shock from a one-sided game. Donegal's Dublin-born Paddy McBrearty, meanwhile, still a minor, celebrated his first senior start with a 1-3 tally.

Constant rain made for uninspiring viewing for the 9,325 fans who showed up to witness Donegal's second win of the campaign.

Cavan suffered an early blow when they were reduced to 14 men after just seven minutes. Cullivan fielded a high ball, but as he landed, was adjudged to have aimed a boot into the midriff of Kevin Cassidy'

But Donegal lost Murphy on 15 minutes, also on a straight red.

Afterwards manager, Jim McGuinness, jumped to Murphy's defence and said Donegal will be appealing the red card. "It definitely wasn't a strike," he insisted. "Michael says he went to try and shoulder him. He definitely didn't raise his hand and strike, he assured us of that at half-time.

"He's a model player on and off the field and hopefully there won't be an issue and we'll have him back for the next day."


Cavan argued that they were unlucky to have had midfielder Cullivan sent off.

Referee Marty Duffy was unequivocal in his response but Cavan co-manager Terry Hyland felt red was harsh.

"I thought it was a yellow card at best. In fairness he had his back to me but he was catching the ball and was up in the air, so I don't know if that can be deemed as deliberate," he said.

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