Michael Murphy proves a pivotal figure as Glenswilly punish wasteful St Gall’s
Donegal captain scores only goal of a tight encounter to see his side into last four
Glenswilly 1-10 St Gall’s 0-10
Donegal champions Glenswilly are through to the Ulster semi-final thanks to another inspired performance from Donegal captain Michael Murphy.
They overcame Antrim champions, St Gall’s, in Ballybofey with Murphy’s first-half penalty the deciding score of the contest.
St Gall’s, All-Ireland champions in 2010, had plenty of opportunities, but they didn’t take their shooting boots to MacCumhaill Park, Ballybofey and Murphy made them pay.
St Gall’s certainly edged the possession and territory stats in the first half but still went in four points behind after Murphy’s penalty on 25 minutes swung the balance of power in favour of the underdogs.
Murphy was pulled down by Andrew McClean, the St Gall’s full-back, after a booming ball into the square by Gary McFadden. The Belfast side protested over the decision of referee Pádraig Hughes but Murphy dusted himself off before shooting into top corner of the net.
St Gall’s again dominated possession in the third quarter but poor shooting (they had 11 wides in total) was their downfall. Murphy scored four second-half points, two frees and a 45 as well as a trademark effort when he fetched overhead before dissecting the posts on the turn. Substitute Brian Farrelly also posted a point, seconds after coming off the bench.
St Gall’s battled on and remained in contention but they managed just four points from play on a disappointing day for Carl McCabe’s team.
GLENSWILLY: P O’Donnell; B McDaid, E Ward, R Crawford; Caolán Kelly, J McDaid, J McFadden; N Gallagher (0-1), C Bonner; J Gibbons, G McFadden (0-3, 3f), D McGinley; Colin Kelly, M Murphy (1-4, 1-0 pen, 1f, 2 ‘45), K McFadden (0-1). Subs: C Gallagher for J McDaid (49), B Farrelly (0-1) for K McFadden (53), R Diver for McGinley (60)
ST GALL’S: C Kerr; A McClean, C Brady; S Kelly, J McGeevy, A Healy (0-1); S Burke (0-1), A Gallagher; T O’Neill, K Niblock (0-1f), K McGourty; C McGourty (0-5, 4f), M Pollock (0-1), N O’Neill. Subs: B Bradley for McGreevy (43), K Stewart (0-1) for K McGourty (43), S O’Hara for O’Neill (47), C Burke for S Burke (56)
Referee: P Hughes (Armagh).