WHEN DONEGAL DEFEATED Cork in the 2012 All-Ireland semi-final, many described it as the most complete performance the then Ulster champions had ever produced.
Jim McGuinness’s side ran out 0-16 to 1-11 winners at Croke Park and went on to win the All-Ireland final against Mayo four weeks’ later.
Earlier that year though, when Donegal lost 2-9 to 2-6 in Letterkenny in the Allianz League Division 1 against Laois, it was in fact a sixth defeat on the bounce – the 2011 All-Ireland semi-final to Dublin, three Dr McKenna Cup outings and league fixtures against Down and then Laois.
However, Michael Murphy (pictured above by Kieran Murray), who had undergone groin surgery that January, returned when Cork rolled into Ballybofey on March’s first Sunday.
Donegal went on to win 1-7 to 0-6 with the skipper making an immediate impact, scoring a goal from a long ball in from Karl Lacey – something we’d be seeing again in the All-Ireland final that September – to shoot a goal after only 14 seconds.
Here’s the goal against Cork …