Termon preserved their senior championship status for another year after finally putting Milford to the sword at the Bridge.
Milford 1-13 Termon 2-14 (after extra time)
by Charlie Collins at The Bridge
Daire McDaid scored 1-6 to give the Burn Road men a priceless win that came after a rocky period for them.
It hadn’t looked good when Barry McNulty’s goal in the ninth minute of added time – owing to an earlier injury that resulted in Termon’s Ricky Gallagher being carted off on a stretcher – took Milford into extra time.
But Christy Connaghan and McDaid netted the goals for Termon to give them the win.
McDaid’s goal came late in the game as he palmed home following good approach work by Joe O’Donnell to complete a dramatic contest.
There was a first start of the Championship for Termon’s former Donegal goalkeeper Michael Boyle, who’d not been used during the group phase, while Milford were without Gary Merritt, unavailable due to his attendance at a family wedding.
Termon flew from the traps and a Daire McDaid free from 40 metres opened up a five-point lead for the Burn Road men.
Playing with the howling Dunfanaghy wind at their backs, Termon began with Steve McElwaine and Daire McDaid giving them a two-point cushion.
That early buffer was extended when Enda McCormick struck and Sean O’Donnell added another as Termon found a groove that had left them for large swathes of this year’s Championship.
Last weekend, they blew a 14-point lead against Four Masters and, although they held on to win that game, it wasn’t enough to keep them out of the play-off and cost Shaun Paul Barrett his position as manager the following morning.
Fate works mysteriously and Termon were paired with Milford last Sunday to add a real edge to it.
Milford’s only point of the first half arrived after 16 minutes, through a Luke Barrett free.
Anthony Grant and two ‘45s from Daire McDaid had Termon eight up at the interval – but with the memory still fresh from last time out.
Two of the Termon points in the opening half came from Milford losing possession when there was next to no pressure on them.
Milford hit back with four points in the first eight minutes of the second half, three of them from Cathal McGettigan.
Gallagher’s injury put a brake on things and Termon managed to stay just in front with Daire McDaid, Shane Doherty and Enda McCormick putting them four up.
Boyle denied Luke Barrett a certain goal, with four minutes of added time gone, but he was powerless to stop McNulty netting to put it on a knife edge before Christopher Barrett teed up extra time.
James Doherty cleared from the Termon goal-line in extra time, but it was Termon who hoisted a green flag down the other end.
It was all about Daire McDaid’s excellence as he wonderfully set up Conaghan to palm to the net.
Termon held onto their lot and Milford must go again – against the losers of tomorrow’s game between Dungloe and Burt.
Milford: Caolan McGettigan; Ronan Docherty, Barry McNulty (1-0), Conor McNulty; Sean Black, Paddy Peoples, David Curley; Joey Cullen, Luke Barrett (0-1f); Cathal McGettigan (0-9, 5f, 1 ’45), Christopher Barrett (0-1), Ryan McMahon; Kyle Black, Kane Barrett (0-1),Tony McNamee (0-1). Subs: Darragh Black for McMahon (half-time), Conor McHugh for C.McNulty (38), Pauric Curley for K.Black (57), James Doyle for McNamee (extra-time), Gavin Grier for B.McNulty (extra-time).
Termon: Michael Boyle; Joe O’Donnell, Kevin McDaid, Paul McDaid; Steve McElwaine (0-1), Nathan McElwaine, Sean O’Donnell (0-1); Ricky Gallagher, Jimmy Gallagher; Anthony Grant (0-1), Daire McDaid (1-6, 1f, 2 ’45), Caolan McDaid (0-1f); Martin Sweeney, Enda McCormick (0-2), Shane Doherty (0-1). Subs: Christy Connaghan (1-0) for Sweeney (half-time), Johnny McCafferty for Grant (38), James Doherty for Gallagher (40), James McSharry (0-1) for S.McElwaine (64), Steve McElwaine for McCormick (extra-time), Anthony McGrenra for McCafferty (extra time).
Referee: James Connors (St Eunan’s).Tags: