THE LAWS of probability quashed the hopes of possibility at Davy Brennan Memorial Park in Glenties as Naomh Conaill obliterated a young Termon team in the meeting of top against bottom in the Donegal SFC.
Naomh Conaill 6-18 Termon 0-8
A home quarter-final for Naomh Conaill is all but assured now, while Termon, at this exact point in time, remain bottom of the 16 sides in the senior bracket’s puffed-up communal table following their 28-point reversal.
Anthony Thompson and Ethan O’Donnell both scored goals in the first half following which Naomh Conaill were 14 in front. By the end, it didn’t get much better for Francie Friel’s team. In got way worse.
After Charles McGuinness’s third goal, Kevin McGettigan volleyed home goal number four on 42 minutes when a dropping ball fell his way following a punch out of the Termon defence who at this stage had their hands full with Naomh Conaill’s new full-forward – AJ Gallagher, who came on to line up a long way from his natural habitat.
And it was AJ Gallagher who added two more goals before the end. Firstly, stroking home a rebound after Emmet Maguire, the Termon goalkeeper who stopped the rout being much more, saved. The second wasn’t so delicate with Gallagher smashing home.
Dermot Molloy got in on goal on 40 seconds and his shot hit the post before ending up wide with the rebound having struck Odhran Doherty, who knew little or nothing about it.
Termon had led thanks to an early Enda McCormick point, but from Naomh Conaill’s second meaningful attack they produced a goal with Anthony Thompson slamming home a pass from his bother Ciaran.
By the first water break, Naomh Conaill had stretched their advantage out to 1-5 to 0-2 with a pair of points each from Dermot Molloy and Eoghan McGettigan.
McCormick put over an excellent free from outside of the 45 when play resumed lost Kevin McDaid to a black card for a late challenge on Ethan O’Donnell.
O’Donnell waltzed onto a Eunan Doherty’s pass and with the minimal of fuss, stroked home the second Naomh Conaill goal on 25 minutes. Between then and the end of the half, Termon goalkeeper Maguire made a stop from both McGuinness and Molloy to prevent the hosts from a third goal. Ciaran Thompson stroked over both 45s.
Seamus Corcoran, who’d come in for McGettigan, finished off the scoring for part one, which ended 2-11 to 0-3.
Last year’s champions had routine victories in their opening two encounters, with a 3-20 to 0-6 opening round success over Milford followed by last Sunday’s 0-18 to 0-5 win in Ardara.
Termon, the minor champions in 2019, had gone down to Kilcar 4-21 to 0-7 on matchday one and then 2-16 to 2-12 when Bundoran visited the Burn Road a week ago.
McGuinness was on hand to tuck home the third goal of the evening in the fourth minute of the second half with Ethan O’Donnell the provider. Again, Maguire in Termon’s goal did his bit by getting a touch on Jeaic Mac Ceallbhui’s goalbound shot. Again, Ciaran Thompson nailed the 45. Ten minutes in the second half it was 3-15 to 0-4 for Naomh Conaill.
Kevin McGettigan and AJ Gallagher added goals for the Full-Back-Line’s Union and with a quarter still to go Naomh Conaill were 5-15 to 0-6 in front. Stephen McGrath in goal for Naomh Conaill saved with his legs from Ryan McFadden with 10 to play.
AJ Gallagher battered home his second goal four minutes to go, with Termon long since having folded.
Naomh Conaill: Stephen McGrath; Ultan Doherty, Jason Campbell, Kevin McGettigan (1-0); Ethan O’Donnell (1-0), Anthony Thompson (1-0), Odhran Doherty; Ciaran Thompson (0-4, 1f, 3 45s), Nathan Byrne (0-1); Eunan Doherty, Eoghan McGettigan (0-3), Marty Boyle; Dermot Molloy (0-3, 1f), Charles McGuinness (1-2, 2f), Jeaic Mac Ceallbhui (0-2). Subs: Seamus Corcoran (0-2) for E McGettigan (26), AJ Gallagher (2-0) and Kealan McGill for Boyle and O’Donnell (37), Ciaran Brennan (0-1) for Mac Ceallbhui (44), John O’Malley for C Thompson (46).
Termon: Emmett Maguire; Barry Gallagher, Oisin Cassidy, Jack Alcorn; Kevin McDaid, Jamie Grant, Nathan McElwaine (0-1); Ryan McFadden (0-2, 1f), Ricky Gallagher; Aaron Reid, Steve McElwaine, Caolan Gallagher; Caolan McDaid (0-2, 2f), Daire McDaid (0-1, 1f), Enda McCormick (0-2, 1f). Subs: Christy Connaghan for Reid (14), Anthony Grant and Shane Doherty for S McElwaine and Alcorn (half-time), Evan Coleman for J Grant (32), Johnny McCafferty for C Gallagher (55).
Referee: Shaun McLaughlin (Malin).Tags: