TREVOR Alcorn says that his Termon ladies will have ‘no fear’ when they face Donaghmoyne in the replay of their Ulster senior ladies championship final tomorrow, Saturday (Trillick, Co Tyrone, throw-in 2pm).
Reigning Ulster and All-Ireland champions Donaghmoyne are in search of their eighth Ulster title, but following Sunday’s drawn game in Clones, Alcorn says that his team has been energised by their strong second-half performance.
Termon trailed 0-9 to 1-0 at half-time, but inspired by a wonder save from goalkeeper Laura Gallagher, denying Majella Woods a goal that surely would have killed it, the Burn Road side roared back.
Geraldine McLaughlin led the way again while captain Maureen O’Donnell was central to the comeback. A McLaughlin goal was all they had to show in the first half and she added another with Grainne McDaid also hitting the net as Termon made a game of it.
Two minutes into added-on time, McLaughlin netted a penalty to turn the tables and put Termon two up – only for them to be denied by a pair of Cathriona McConnell frees.
“We know now that we are every bit as good as Donaghmoyne and that game on Sunday will stand to the girls,” says Alcorn.
“We know that we can go out with no fear and take them on.
“We went without fear on Sunday too, but maybe it was a case of the occasion getting to some players, which can happen in finals sometimes.
“When that happens you can miss your second breath and things go wrong.
“We will respect Donaghmoyne. We did respect them on Sunday too, but maybe we showed them too much respect.”
This week, Alcorn’s options are boosted by the return of Lucy O’Flynn, who missed Sunday’s game because of an injury. Elsewhere, Termon are at full strength, aside from midfielder Dara Kelly, a long-term absentee now with a cruciate injury.
Niamh Friel has been commuting from Belgium, but has stayed and trained with the squad this week and Roisin McCafferty will again be back from Coventry for the replay.
“I think we might have panicked a bit on Sunday, but to be fair to the girls they really stood up very well when it came to the crunch in the game,” Alcorn says.
“There were mixed emotions, really. We looked to have been dead and buried at one stage, but the girls did so well to come back into the game and then, when we did claw back, we got in front and should have won the game.
“Overall, it’s fair that the two teams have another day out and a chance to go at it again though.
“We will have learned an awful lot from that game on Sunday. They won’t get frees as handy this weekend, for starters. We will have learned a lot about the importance of closing out a game when you’re ahead as well.”
Termon defeated Donaghmoyne in the 2010 final, but lost out to the Monaghan side last year in the final. Termon will also take a lot from the fact that the game is on neutral soil having played at a Monaghan venue (Clones) last week, with the Donegal club successfully objecting to having been instructed to go back to St Tiernach’s Park for a second time.
This year, Alcorn, assisted by Francie Friel and Paul ‘Smiley’ McDaid, has been targeting topping the province from the outset.
The Termon manager says: “This is our All-Ireland final. This is what we have been targeting, what we have been aiming for since the very start of the year.”
That dream remains alive.