Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 23 August 2014

Murphy chases club final before International Rules job

Double hopes: Michael Murphy lines out for Glenswilly today

Newly-appointed Ireland International Rules captain Michael Murphy has an important assignment today – and there won't be a green jersey in sight.

Murphy will line out for Glenswilly in the Donegal senior football championship semi-final against Ardara anxious to pursue what he hopes will be one leg of an end-of-season sporting double.

The man who led Donegal to Sam Maguire glory last year is now targeting a Rules series triumph for Ireland and a county title prize as he bids to put the disappointments of this year's championships with his county firmly behind him.

"It's always good to line out with your club especially in a championship match and this semi-final against Ardara is a massive match for us," said Murphy.

"We would like to think we are in with a decent chance of winning the county title but then the other sides that are still in the mix will have similar ambitions."

He is joined in the Glenswilly line-up by his county colleague Neil Gallagher, an imposing midfield strongman whose ability in the air could prove a substantial bonus for the team today.

Also in the line-up is Donegal panellist Gary McFadden, while Ardara will depend on Paddy McGrath, Kenneth Doherty and Brendan Boyle for inspiration.

Glenswilly's scoring power, best epitomised by Murphy, should help to get them into the decider.

In the other semi-final surprise packet Malin will take on Killybegs tomorrow. It was a stunning 3-12 to 2-7 victory over fancied St Eunan's in the quarter-final that marked Malin down as a potential championship force and they will certainly carry no hint of an inferiority complex into this clash with Killyebegs.

They may have been less than impressive in the league, but Malin clearly relish the cut and thrust of championship football.

Terence Doherty, Paul McLaughlin and Stephen McLaughlin can provide a cutting edge for Malin, while Hugh McFadden is capable of shouldering considerable responsibility in the Killybegs attack.

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