Termon spring a surprise as Sweeney goal seals win over Gaoth Dobhair


FRANCIE FRIEL said during the week that his Termon team were ‘always good for springing a surprise in the Championship’ – and he was true to his word as they stunned Gaoth Dobhair at the Burn Road.

Termon 1-11 Gaoth Dobhair 0-9

Termon have had something of an Indian sign over Gaoth Dobhair in recent Championship battles and they proved their nous for claiming big wins after putting Conal Sheridan’s team to the sword.

A goal by Aiden Sweeney in the 57th minute was the big score here as Termon put the cat firmly among the pigeons.

After a five-man move, Ricky Gallagher – playing his first game since breaking a collarbone in Termon’s opening Championship game against Naomh Conaill in May – crossed for Sweeney who, despite being fouled, managed to scramble home.

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Gaoth Dobhair lined out without Eamon McGee, who was not togged at all in the squad, and the Magheragallon men were out of sorts at times, but they did have their moments with Termon goalkeeper forced into a couple of big saves in the second half.

Just before Sweeney’s goal, Boyle brilliantly saved from Kevin Cassidy and he thwarted Daire Ó Baoill in added time having come to the rescue previously in denying Naoise Ó Baoill, who surged through from midfield.

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It also took a goal-line block by Kevin McDaid to keep out another shot by Cian Mulligan that was destined for the net.

Termon – despite having Johnny McCafferty sent off late in the game – sealed the win with Daire McDaid popping over a free.

The teams were tit-for-tat in the early exchanges with Termon leading three times, through McDaid, McCafferty and McDaid again, only for Gavin McBride and Noel Kelly to cancel out the first two.

On 15 minutes, Gaoth Dobhair could and should have got the opening goal of the game.

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After a superb move cut an incision right through the Termon heart, spurred by Neil McGee driving out of defence, an exchange of passes followed, with Peter McGee finally feeding Gavin McBride.
From six yards, McBride seemed set to find the net, but the big full-forward completely miskicked his shot.

Gaoth Dobhair drew level again through a brilliant score by Odhrán Mac Niallais, but an Enda McCormick free fired Termon in front.

Two points inside of a minute by Mac Niallais had Gaoth Dobhair ahead for the first time after Eoin Ward leveled it for a fourth time, but there was nothing between them at the interval.

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McCormick – who had scored a belting goal for the Donegal minors in last Sunday’s All-Ireland MFC semi-final at Croke Park – and McDaid hit points late in the half and they were all aboard at six points apiece.

This game was the earliest of this evening’s Championship matches to get underway due to the anniversary Mass in memory of Andrew Duffy, the former Termon player who died when he tragically fell into the canal at Phibsboro, Dublin four years ago today on the night of Donegal’s All-Ireland semi-final win over Cork in 2012.

An impeccably-observed minute’s silence took place before the game in his memory.

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Termon moved 0-10 to 0-8 ahead with 12 minutes to go after Steve McElwaine, McDaid (2) and Caolan McDaid on the mark before Sweeney’s goal set them up for another famous win that puts them back in contention to make the quarter-finals.

Termon: Michael Boyle; Nathan McElwaine, Kevin McDaid, Kevin McElwaine; Shane Callaghan, Ricky Gallagher, James McSharry; Brendan Friel, Aiden Sweeney (1-0); Johnny McCafferty (0-1), Caolan McDaid (0-1), Enda McCormick (0-2, 1f); Steve McElwaine (0-1), Paddy McDaid, Daire McDaid (0-6, 3f).

Gaoth Dobhair: Chris Sweeney; Michael McKelvey, Neil McGee, Jamie Reynolds; Niall Friel, Kieran Gillespie, Cian Mulligan; Peter McGee, Odhrán Mac Niallais (0-3); Naoise Ó Baoill, Noel Kelly (0-2), Micheál Carroll; Eoin Ward (0-1), Gavin McBride (0-2, 2f), Kevin Cassidy. Subs: Daire Ó Baoill (0-1) for Ward (26), Ciaran Ferry for McKelvey (36).

Referee: Robbie O’Donnell (Naomh Muire).

For over two decades, has been regarded as the voice of sport in Donegal. Charlie is the former Head of Sport at Highland Radio – a role he fulfilled for 23 years. He is a former Managing Director at Highland Radio. Produced the Talking Sport Podcast upon leaving Highland Radio before helping to form Donegal Sport Hub in 2015.

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