BY CHRIS MCNULTY
WITH League points at a premium and Donegal starting into a gruelling four-week period, the twin towers of Michael Murphy and Colm McFadden could both be restored to the full-forward line on Sunday when Jim McGuinness’s team welcome Cork to Sean MacCumhaill Park, Ballybofey (throw-in 2pm, deferred coverage TG4.
Neither player has played a competitive minute in the county colours since the All-Ireland semi-final defeat to Dublin last August, but the three-week lay-off has allowed bother undergo intensive rehabilitation. Now, the deadly duo – the lynchpins in attack for Donegal’s success of last year – are set to return to spearhead an attack that has been ailing in their absence.
Without the totemic partnership, Donegal have struggled in large periods in front of the posts, and with Donegal having lost their opening two League games and facing a schedule that sees Cork, Kerry, Mayo and Dublin on the agenda in March McGuinness may be forced to thrust the pair in from the start against the Rebels.
But as the concerns about Murphy and McFadden ease there are fresh concerns about the long-term intercounty future of Kilcar teenager Patrick McBrearty. Two weeks ago, the Colaiste na Carraige student attended an Australian Rules trial in Tallaght, organised by former Kerry GAA and Sydney Swans AFL star Tadhg Kennelly and he has now been invited to a second trial – a week-long session in London on Easter week.