BY CHRIS MCNULTY
TERMON are on the search for their third Donegal senior ladies title in four seasons when they take on the new kids on the block, St Eunan’s in Sunday’s final at Sean MacCumhaill Park (throw-in, 1.45pm).
The Burn Road girls won the Championship in 2010 and 2012 and go into Sunday’s final as hot favourites. The reigning Donegal Champions, they’ve also taken the Donegal and All-Ireland Gaeltacht titles this summer.
On Sunday, Donegal ace Geraldine McLaughlin was in scorching form, scoring a deadly 4-6 as they defeated old rivals Glenfin.
A 2011 semi-final defeat to Glenfin in Letterkenny has been their only defeat in the Donegal Championship in the last four seasons. With McLaughlin back in that scintillating form, their confidence will be brimming for this one.
“Geraldine is back on fire,” said manager, Trevor Alcorn.
“She is back to top form again and had a superb semi-final for us. She’s got a great eye for scores and sometimes it feels like she’s unmarkable.
“We’re confident, but we’re just treating it with a one-game-at-a-time approach. We struggled for a while in the first half against Glenfin, who always seem to have a wee psychological thing on us in games and against them it’s never over until the final whistle goes.”
Termon led by six points at the interval with Glenfin left to curse a number of squandered chances.
With McLaughlin’s tally rising by the minute, Termon soon took charge. Lucy O’Flynn netted the other goal in a 5-14 to 1-5 win.
Termon’s team is brimming with experience at inter-county level.
Donegal captain Roisin McCafferty plays at midfield for Termon and will be a key cog in the wheel this Sunday, while Nicole McLaughlin has shaken off an injury and will be able to play in defence.
Roisin ‘Yankee’ Friel is another of Termon’s big players who has a big influence around the middle third and carries a potent threat going forward.
Captain Maureen O’Donnell and the McCafferty girls, Olive, Petra, Therese and Grainne, bring a lot to the part in terms of big-game experience at various grades, too.
Termon go into the game without one of their influential figures, though, as Dara Kelly has to sit out through a knee injury. Kelly performed well in the Donegal Gaeltacht final win against Glenfin in Glencolmcille, but picked up the injury in the All-Ireland Gaeltacht final in Waterford and requires keyhole surgery.
In Kelly’s absence, Emer Gallagher has been lining out alongside Roisin McCafferty at centrefield.
“We’re not at full strength and it’s disappointing for Dara to miss out, but she’ll still be along with the ground and be on the line with us,” Alcorn said.
“Hopefully she’ll be back in a few weeks’ time.”
Alcorn took charge with Francie Friel joining Jim McGuinness’s backroom team, but Friel is back aiding the group again in recent weeks.
“This team has had a lot of success, but we’ll treat St Eunan’s with the respect they deserve and we have to guard against being over-confident,” Alcorn said.
“We have a good lot of players coming through now and these senior girls have been very good with the underage set up. Mo O’Donnell, for example, has taken on the minor team and we’re looking to bring through some of those. There’s some great wee players on the under 16 squad too, so hopefully Termon will be challenging for a while yet.”
TERMON PANEL: Laura Gallagher, Niamh Friel, Nicole McLaughlin, Therese McCafferty, Olive McCafferty, Petra McCafferty, Marie McFadden, Grainne McCafferty, Emer Gallagher, Roisin McCafferty, Dara Kelly, Roisin Friel, Geraldine Mclaughlin, Maureen O’Donnell, Lucy O’Flynn, Grace Trearty, Jamie Lee Murray, Aileen McGlynn, Marie O’Reily, Shauna Kelly, Claire McDermott, Maria Carr.