A truly magnificent display from Termon Ladies saw them make history by reaching the All-Ireland final with a fully deserved win over Kilkerrin/Clonberne.
The Termon sideline was put through the ringer as referee John Niland played a little over 11 minutes of added time in the second half.
He also awarded a very soft penalty to the Galway girls in the 59th minute which brought them back within two points at 3-9 to 2-10.
A further point from Annette Clarke a minute later left for a nailbiting finish but Termon, thanks to two frees from Maureen O’Donnell and Geraldine McLaughlin stretched the lead and they held on.
To say the game was about Geraldine McLaughlin would be the understatement of the century. The sharpshooter scored 2-3 but was involved in every single Termon score, winning seven frees for Mo O’Donnell and making the other goal for Shannon McGroddy.
It was a truly amazing individual display and at times there were three and four marking her or should that be trying to mark her.
Termon had a nervous opening after Geraldine McLaughlin had them ahead inside the first minute.
The home side through flyer Louise Ward were ahead by 1-1 to 0-1 after 2 minutes, her first effort tipped over by Laura Gallagher and then she set up Lisa Gannon to fire to the corner.
Shortly after Termon had Nicole McLaughlin sin binned trying to stop the strong running of the Galway girls.
But gradually Termon, or should I say, Geraldine McLaughlin got into their stride. By half-time she had nine fouls on her, but no player was yellow carded. Her foul allowed Maureen O’Donnell to point a free. Annette Clarke replied but McLaughlin responded by firing just over the crossbar and then she had Termon ahead on 11 minutes when Roisin Friel did very well along the wing and crossed. Even though surrounded by three defenders McLaughlin got possession and although her first effort was blocked, she followed up to bundle home from close range.
Lisa Gannon levelled before Mo O’Donnell and Clarke traded frees. McLaughlin was almost in for another goal on 20 minutes. Clarke cut the deficit to a point but McLaughlin was involved again on 23 minutes before the ball broke to Shannon McGroddy who added the second goal, the ball looping over the Clonberne ‘keeper.,
McLaughlin was fouled continuously and should have been given the advantage on a number of occasions. From the frees O’Donnell stretched the Termon lead to 2-7 to 1-5, four in-a-row from the 23rd to 32nd minute.
On the stroke of half-time Lisa Gannon had a point for the home side to leave Termon ahead by 2-7 to 1-6 at the break.
The second half was a more tight affair with Nicola Ward hitting a point after a majestic 75m run. Annette Clarke added a free but McLaughlin won a free for O’Donnell to counter.
Olivia Divilly pointed a free on 52 minutes before McLaughlin pounced for the third goal. It came after a great fetch by Roisin Friel (one of many in the match) and she sent McGroddy clear. McLaughlin became alive and played a 1-2 with McGroddy before firing an unstoppable shot to the net.
Roisin McCafferty added a point after being found by McLaughlin and Termon were five clear with six minutes of normal time left.
But they had to endure the late Clonberne comeback and the time being added on by referee Niland, which really annoyed both the Termon sideline and the supporters.
It all ended well with Clonberne unable to breach the Termon defence again with those late points from O’Donnell and McLaughlin killing off the game.
Apart from the majestic McLaughlin, Emer Gallagher, Maria Carr, Roisin Friel, Shannon McGroddy and Maureen O’Donnell were magnificent for the winners, but in truth everyone of their players played well
Termon: Laura Gallagher; Petra McCafferty, Emer Gallagehr, Maria Carr; Maureen O’Donnell (0-7,7f), Nicole McLaughlin, Lauren McIlwaine; Shannon McGroddy (1-0), Roisin McCafferty (0-1); Olive McCafferty, Grainne McDaid, Sharon McLaughlin; Roisin Friel, Geraldine McLaughlin (2-3,0-1f), Therese McCafferty. Subs., Dara Kelly for S McLaughlin 26; Niamh Friel for P McCafferty ht;
Kilkerrin/Clonberne: Lisa Murphy; Aisling Walsh, Sarah Gormally, Ailbhe Mahony; Aoife McStay, Nicola Ward (0-1), Caoimhe Boyle; Louise Ward (0-1), Annette Clarke (1-7,3f); Olivia Divilly (0-1,f), Lisa Gannon (1-2), Claire Dunleavy; Ann Marie Miskell, Siobhan Divilly, Sarah Warde. Subs., Lisa Walsh for Warde; Deirdre Bracken for Miskell.
Refere: John Niland (Sligo)