St aAry's 1-07 Termon 0-06: A brilliant goal from David McAlernon set Antrim champions St Mary’s, Aghagallon on their way to a win over Termon in Ballybofey.
With 23 minutes gone, the wing-forward picked up possession in the middle third and made straight for Michael Boyle’s goal. McAlernon made no mistake and rifled home off the inside of the post.
St Mary’s were dominant at centre-field with their goal a perfect illustration of that after McAlernon picked up the break.
The goal put them 1-2 to 0-1 ahead and in the driving seat.
Ronan Magee had earlier opened the scoring for St Mary’s.
Termon scuppered whatever chances they might have had by kicking 14 wides on the day to their guests’ six.
Termon were also denied the services of Christy Connaghan, who scored 2-23 in their four domestic championship matches, with a knee injury.
After McAlernon’s goal, Termon finished the first half strongly, coming out of their lethargy belatedly on a heavy November pitch.
Marty Sweeney scored only their second point of the day, on 25 minutes, but within two minutes they doubled that total.
McDaid scored a neat point on the turn and Jimmy Gallagher was also on the mark to leave the minimum between the sides at the interval, with the Craigavon outfit 1-2 to 0-4 ahead.
The conclusion to that first period would have given the scattered home support reason for optimism but it was St Mary’s who posted the first point of the second half when corner-back Ciaran Lavery scampered into space.
There was a noticeable alteration in the tactical approach from the away side, more of the spring in their step as they sought to feed their forwards faster.
But Termon’s good form spilled into the second half when Sweeney’s brace of points, a long ranger from play and then a routine free from in front of the posts, levelled matters at 0-6 to 1-3.
But Termon’s poor shooting continued to hamper their chances.
Time and again their attacks ended without result after a second championship outing in four days and St Mary’s were on hand to take their chance.
Magee scored two more late frees, bringing his end of day’s takings to four and in-between, Gareth Magee bombed over one of the points of the day.
Termon: M Boyle; J O’Donnell, K McGettigan, A McGrenra; S O’Donnell, K McElwaine, S McElwaine; O Doherty, J Gallagher (0-1); J McCafferty, M Sweeney (0-3, 2frees), T Alcorn; A Sweeney, D McDaid, P McDaid (0-2). Substitutes: J Doherty for D McDaid (half-time), K McDaid and D Gibson for M Sweeney and S McElwaine (both 48 minutes), D Connaghan for McCafferty (60 minutes)
St Mary’s Aghagallon: G O’Neill; R Magee (0-4, 4frees), C Loughran, C Lavery (0-1); M McKenna, D O’Hagan, O Lenehen; D McAlernon, D Marshall; N Lavery, G Magee (0-1), D McAlernon (1-0); F Bustard, S Branigan, M McStavick. Substitute: R Loughran for Branigan (48 minutes)
Referee: Sean Hurson (Tyrone).