September Road: Michael Murphy’s resilience second to none

Meath do enough to suggest that Dublin can be got at; McGeary drops F-bomb

Donegal’s Michael Murphy watching the game against  Tyrone from the bench after receiving a red card. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Donegal’s Michael Murphy watching the game against Tyrone from the bench after receiving a red card. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

 

Although he is unanimously regarded as one of the greatest players in the game, if Michael Murphy has a chink in his armour – and we are nitpicking – it is his record from penalties.

Murphy missed one yesterday against Tyrone and was sent off soon afterwards, which was unusual. Ordinarily few respond to adversity as well as the Donegal captain.

In the last minute of the 2010 All-Ireland U21 final against Dublin, he hit the crossbar with a penalty with his team two points down against Dublin. On his senior championship debut, he missed one 10 minutes in against Leitrim; a few minutes later he found the net from play.

In his third match, Westmeath’s Gary Connaughton saved one from him too.

In last year’s league Meath goalkeeper Marcus Brennan saved a penalty from Murphy. When Donegal were awarded another, the Donegal captain again stepped up and made no mistake.

That resilience and “bouncebackability” has been prevalent throughout Murphy’s career. The day after that U21 All-Ireland final, Murphy lined out for his club and was awarded another penalty. This time he buried it.

***

Reports of Dublin’s demise may be exaggerated but Meath did enough to suggest that the All-Ireland champions can be got at.

For a start the Royals managed to find the net. Incredibly, Dublin had been on a run of nine successive clean sheets in the Leinster Championship.

In their previous 19 Leinster matches going back to 2015, the Dubs had kept 16 clean sheets. And of course the only provincial match they lost since 2005 was in 2010 when Meath managed to raise five green flags and in their last defeat in the All-Ireland series, Donegal hit them for three.

Getting goals, then, is key. Easier said than done.

***

The first televised F-bomb of the GAA summer was dropped by Tyrone’s Kieran McGeary in a post-match interview on BBC.

Asked if the Ulster final should be played in Croke Park, McGeary, who had just picked up the Man of the Match award, replied: “Ah Jesus, yeah, sure, f**k, I’m sure every – oh sorry, apologies.”

The interview was immediately cut short, with the reporter handing back to the studio and apologising to anyone offended by the language. The camera lingered for a couple of seconds, though, long enough to capture a grimace from the apologetic McGeary, who hadn’t put a foot wrong all day. Till then.

***

These are heady days for Limerick hurling. With their first Munster SHC three-in-a-row since 1933-35 secured, they also had the honour of being the last team to win the most famous trophy that doesn’t have a name.

Strangely, the existing cup for the Munster SHC was not named in honour of anyone. From next year a new cup will be presented, dedicated to the iconic Mick Mackey, which corrects an oversight which saw no intercounty trophy named after the Ahane legend.

By the Numbers - 56

Total cumulative points in Monaghan v Armagh, equalling the record for highest scoring Ulster SFC match with Cavan v Tyrone (2016).

Word of Mouth

“I’m not interested in these sort of moral victories.”

Laois hurling manager Séamas ‘Cheddar’ Plunkett reacts to his side’s narrow loss to Waterford. Despite the heatwave Plunkett still donned his trademark wooly beanie cap on the sideline.

Laois manager Seamus Plunkett. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho
Laois manager Seamus Plunkett. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho
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