27 Sept 2022

Termon keen to fight with the top dogs again - Ricky Gallagher

Termon were relegated from the senior football championship last year and Ricky Gallagher says that reality didn't dawn until the draws for the 2022 championship was held

Termon keen to fight with the top dogs again - Ricky Gallagher

Termon player Ricky Gallagher on the ball against Milford.

It was 227 days later until the reality sank in.

The draw for the 2022 Donegal senior football championship was held in Donegal Town on June 21.

The groups for all of the championships took place on the same night.

Something dawned for Ricky Gallagher.

“When that draw was on and our name wasn’t in the hat, it hit home that we weren’t fighting with the top dogs,” the Termon man told Donegal Live.

Last November, Termon lost their senior status when beaten by Bundoran in Convoy. It took extra time when, finally, a trio of Paul Brennan points gave Bundoran victory and ended Termon’s nine-year stint in the senior ranks.

“We were right on he edge of being relegated for a year or two,” Gallagher said. “It took a while for it to hit home. It didn’t really hit that day we were relegated. It was when the draw was made. During the winter, it would be in the back of the head, but you’re not really thinking about it that much until the draw’s being made.”

Termon survived a scare on Sunday that was as much their own doing as it was to do with a spirited Red Hughs. Late in the day at O’Donnell Park, Red Hughs will have felt that they could - and should - have at least forced extra time in the IFC quarter-final.

Termon prevailed, but only just. The 1-8 to 0-10 scoreline told the tale.

Gallagher said: “We couldn’t string two passes together for a long time and we just lost composure.

“In games like that, you just want to get through and it doesn’t matter by how much. If someone has given us a one-point win before the game, I’d have taken it with both hands. Anything else was a bonus.

“We looked at our ease for a while in the first half, but at half-time we probably felt like we were further ahead than we actually were (1-5 to 0-2).

“Red Hughs definitely weren’t put away. O’Donnell Park is a funny sort of venue, especially down towards the lower goals. Your legs can get shot fairly fast and that happened us on Sunday.

“Red Hughs came out a completely different team too. It was nearly the same thing that happened us against Burt when we came out with all guns blazing.

“We’ve come out of a good battle. We should be battle-hardened after that game and it might be better that we didn’t push on and add a couple of goals.”

Termon were last IFC winners in 2012 when beating Aodh Ruadh under lights in Ballybofey. They face Dungloe - last year’s beaten finalists - at MacCumhaill Park in a semi-final this Saturday night (throw-in 8pm).

Termon entered this year’s Championship after a difficult League campaign that concluded with relegation to Division 2.

“The League was never going to be a taking point for us,” Gallagher pointed out. “Last year, we got promotion in the League and were relegated in the Championship so that was bittersweet.

“Every team in the intermediate championship wants to get into senior. That’s the aim, I’d say, for everyone rather than whatever happens in the League.

“The intermediate championship is so competitive. You could take the top six in the intermediate and the bottom six in the senior and there wouldn’t be much difference at all.

“You look at the likes of Aodh Ruadh and Cloughaneely. It took Cloughaneely, who were in Division 1 a few years, a long time to get the intermediate and Aodh Ruadh are in the top four or five teams in the senior now and they were the same, working hard for a long while to get out of intermediate.”

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