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Ulster Championship: Donegal cry foul over Murphy call

By John Campbell

Donegal assistant manager Rory Gallagher has confirmed an appeal will be launched against the red card which skipper Michael Murphy received in yesterday’s Ulster Championship quarter-final against Cavan.

Indeed Gallagher claimed after the match that it will scarcely be necessary for video evidence to be studied.

“We know even now that Michael did not strike anybody because he is not that kind of player,” said former Fermanagh ace Gallagher, who won an All-Ireland Club Championship medal with St Gall’s last year.

“It is 100 per cent certain that we will be appealing his red card. We would certainly need him in the team for the semi-final against Tyrone next Sunday week.

“As far as Michael is concerned it was a fair shoulder charge and if any video evidence is required then it should be only to confirm this.

“We will bring this to the Competitions Control Committee and hopefully things will work out for us there.”

Gallagher is adamant that his team will now face a severe test against a Tyrone side that is targeting a hat-trick of provincial titles.

“Up until now we have had to look after our business, which was taking care of Antrim and Cavan,” said Gallagher.

“We beat Tyrone in the National League but you can’t really go by that result.

“Tyrone were very much under-strength on that occasion and they had not returned to training for long.

“Tyrone are the benchmark for the rest of us. They have won three All-Ireland titles in recent years, several Ulster titles and have a fantastic squad of players.

“I laugh when I read and hear all this craic about the age of the side. We are talking here about players with phenomenal experience who know how to win matches and you can be sure that this will stand to them when they come to play us.”

Donegal boss Jim McGuinness was so furious at recent comments on ‘The Sunday Game' about his team that he initially refused an RTE request for a post-match interview.

Within minutes he had relented, but then used the interview to have a pop back at the RTE pundits whom he said had “crossed the line” in recent weeks.

McGuinness said he could handle the widespread criticism of his team after their Ulster first-round victory over Antrim, describing it as “way over the top”, but what really upset him were comments made on ‘The Sunday Game' that night about the selection of Donegal’s Ryan Bradley as the man of the match.

“There's one thing being critical of Jim McGuinness or my style of football but there's another thing in being disrespectful and we felt that Ryan Bradley was disrespected,” McGuinness fumed.

“RTE presented him with a trophy and (later that night) then said there was no (deserving) man of the match.

“Ryan Bradley has parents and a girlfriend who were standing watching him accepting a trophy, as proud as punch, and then people later were saying ‘there was no man of the match!'

“Last week they had a joke about us as well at the end of the programme. Donegal seems to be this county that everyone can have a good laugh at because we're not that serious. I don't like my players or my county disrespected.”

Cavan joint manager Terry Hyland admitted his side were well beaten yesterday.

He said: “Donegal were the better team. We blooded young lads and we would hope to get more out of them going forward.”

Belfast Telegraph


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