Kilcar stick to the script to ease past Termon into semi-finals

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IT WENT ALONG EXPECTED lines as Kilcar stuck to the script and overcame Termon to reach their second Donegal SFC semi-final in a row.

Kilcar 0-19 Termon 0-4

Under Martin McHugh, Kilcar have become the favourites to take Dr Maguire to Towney for the first time since 1993 and they had this one put to bed swiftly to take their place in the last four.

Termon had rattled Naomh Conaill, the eventual champions, at this same stage – a Saturday night quarter-final in Ballybofey – last year, but Kilcar were just too strong here.

Michael Hegarty rolled back the years to hit four points, while Patrick McBrearty helped himself to six as Kilcar eased to a 15-point win on a night when they didn’t have to hit the top gears.

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Termon managed just two points in both halves, although they did get in for four goal chances that perhaps will give hope to prospective opponents of Kilcar next weekend.

Kilcar are at the summit of the League and came out of a Championship group that included contenders St Eunan’s and St Michael’s, rising to the top of the bookmakers’ blackboards in the process.

Bigger tests than this, ultimately, will await, but for now there remains the growing sense that this could well be the year they finally end their wait for glory in Towney.

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When Andrew McClean slotted over to put Kilcar into a 0-5 to 0-1 lead in the eighth minute, it already had the feeling that Termon’s goose was cooked.

In a niggly opening, Termon had Shaun O’Donnell and Brendan Friel yellow carded with referee Shaun Paul Doherty kept on his toes.

Michael Hegarty popped over two fine points, either side of an Enda McCormick score for Termon, and Patrick McBrearty opened his account while wing-back Barry Shovlin landed a gorgeous score.

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Eoin McHugh put five between them as the temperature rose the contents to simmering with just 15 minutes gone and McClean curled over another delicious point.

Termon saw Sean O’Donnell and Brendan Friel yellow carded in a fiery beginning and both were withdrawn early, presumably in fear that they might loose their footing on the tightrope.

For all of Kilcar’s dominance on the scoreboard – they were nine ahead at the break – Termon still managed to fashion three decent goal chances inside the opening half-an-hour.

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Daire McDaid thumped at Eamonn McGinley, the Kilcar goalkeeper, in the 16th minute and McGinley had to claw away at the second attempt.

The experienced Johnny McCafferty fired wide at close range and, late in the half, McDaid palmed the ball out of McGinley’s clutches but couldn’t divert to the net.

As they parted ways at the changeover, it was a surprise that no-one had been sent off, considering the amount of off-the-ball needle and the participants were rather agitated as they headed down the tunnel.

It was certainly a surprise that 30 players ended a game that, somehow, contained only one black card.

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Ricky Gallagher drilled over for Termon early in the second half, but the next four points all went to Kilcar with McBrearty (3) and Ciaran McGinley on the mark.

Substitute Matthew McClean hit two points after coming on and Ryan McHugh tapped over the final score of a one-sided contest.

Kilcar: Eamon McGinley; Stephen Shovlin, Conor McShane, Patrick Gallagher; Barry Shovlin (0-1), Mark McHugh, Ryan McHugh (0-1); Ciaran McGinley (0-1), Michael Hegarty (0-4); Conor Doherty, Stephen McBrearty, Eoin McHugh (0-1); Dara O’Donnell, Patrick McBrearty (0-7, 4f), Andrew McClean (0-2). Subs: Matthew McClean (0-2) for S.McBrearty (46), Mark Sweeney for E.McHugh (53), Aodhán McGinley for B.Shovlin (59).

Termon: Michael Boyle; Joe O’Donnell, Kevin McDaid, James McSharry; Nathan McElwaine, Shaun O’Donnell, Kevin McElwaine; Enda McCormick (0-1), Jimmy Gallagher; Steve McElwaine, Ricky Gallagher (0-1), Brendan Friel; Johnny McCafferty, Daire McDaid (0-1), Paddy McDaid. Subs: Shane Callaghan for S.O’Donnell (12), Caolan McDaid for Friel (18), Fionntán O’Flynn (0-1) for Callaghan (38), Austin Marron for Gallagher (39), Daniel Connaghan for S.McElwaine (46), Paul McDaid for McSharry (black card, 53).

Referee: Shaun Paul Doherty (Urris).

Sports writer from St Johnston, now based in Letterkenny, with ten years' experience covering sport in Donegal. Was a nominee for NUJ Sports Journalist of the Year in 2010. Honoured by the Donegal Boxing Board in 2016 for his coverage on the sport.

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