Cúl Camp was enjoyed by over 200 in St Patrick’s Park this week. With a reasonable few days of weather the children ran, jumped, kicked, caught, shouted, laughed and played their way through five days of our national games in the company of a plethora of county coaches and club volunteers. It was a fantastic week and the club would like to thank all of the coaches who really ensured the children had a ball. To the boys and girls and parents who came along thank you and especially to the club volunteers who manned the clubhouse and tidied up each day an extra special thanks. A great way to start the summer hols.
No training for wee ones this Saturday morning (15th). Back in action Saturday 22nd July 10:30-11:30am.
Senior Men put the home support through every emotion possible in their home win against Dundrum last week. After an emotionally draining defeat the previous week to Clan na Banna, the need for a winning response was essential. It was Dundrum however who started the sharper and with three minutes gone on the watch, they were a goal and two points to the good! Saul hadn’t even been over the half way line at this stage and the tension amongst those watching was palpable. The mix up that lead to the goal especially added to the feeling that it may just be one of those nights. With starts like that it takes someone to take the game by the scruff of the neck and thankfully that’s just what happened as Ciarán Harney stepped up to be counted. With some better ball coming in from the middle, he slotted over the first score on nine minutes. Dundrum were playing like a team at the top of the league and they responded in kind and followed up with a free kick to put them seven points up and only thirteen minutes gone. Captain Mullen stuck over a FK and then Harney went on a scoring spree of four points in two minutes. With good ball in and a determination to get close to goal, he was proving hard to stop. A fine Magee point was followed by a goal effort that hit goalkeeper, post, defender and then crossbar before being cleared by a desperate Dundrum defence who were finding it difficult the rampant Saul forwards at this stage. Another fine point from Harney put Saul ahead for the first time, which hadn’t seemed possible after the first few minutes. Dundrum, who had weathered an attacking storm for the previous 25 minutes stuck a point over to equalise and then another Harney score and Dundrum freekick took the game to half time
Saul 0-09, Dundrum 1-06.
The second half began like the first with Dundrum sending over a fine score from 30m. A groan went round St Patricks Park as the home support thought, “Oh no, not again.” But thankfully a stirring half time talk from Messers Ritchie and McCartan had a much better effect. The impressive Caolan Magee pointed and then a period of pressure from the blues resulted in a penalty. Up stepped captain Mullen, but a save and then follow up into the side netting kept the scores level. Dundrum went a point up and Mullen sent another one over for the Saul men. A fine move up the road side ended with another good save Burns in the Dundrum net as Jamie Morgan’s shot was parried out, but there was a feeling that the goal was coming. And so it did with the vey next attack. A 45 was sent in and punched back into the small square by Mullen who spotted the on rushing Harney who punched it firmly into the back of the Dundrum net to put more than a point in it for the first time in over twenty minutes. A lovely point followed from Magee who was proving very effective and Saul were now making their possession count. He added further points and a goal before the end and while a series of Dundrum free kicks were put over by the dependable Paul McComiskey, a lovely Jamie Morgan point finished the scoring at Saul 2-16, Dundrum 1-13.
A very poor start will not always be able to be clawed back as it was in this game, but credit to the lads for the fine way in which they ignored the groans and moans from the home support in the first few minutes and turned them into cheers and rapturous applause by the end of the first half. Some fine defending was the platform for this and some very good individual performances from Harney, Magee, Morgan and Laverty certainly were entertaining as well as effective. The July break is now here and while attention may be on Clones next week, it should also be on the next league game away to Drumgath, who as usual are fighting at the top of the league too. Friday 21st July should be a date we all have marked to get out and support the lads.
Reserves play in the annual Connolly Cup tournament final on Saturday 15th against the winners of Bright and Ardglass. Time will be confirmed on Facebook during the week.
Minors made the short trip to Bright and demonstrated a severe lack of cutting edge in tackling, scoring and appetite on a night when the home team were better in every position. Decent performances from Shane O’Hare, Callum Fitzsimons and Peter Ataliotis were never going to be enough. Plenty of work needed before the next game at home to Baile an Locha on 18th July.
U16 boys hosted Aughlisnafin on Friday night and produced a very disciplined and fighting performance that helped erase some of the horrors of the week before. A quick start reflected the attitude of the players beforehand and six points from P Doran, A Harney (2), O Magee, and R Connor (2) before the visitors scored, helped the confidence filter throughout the team. Goals from Connor and D McComiskey cemented the lead before half time and meant the scoreline of Saul 2-09, Aughlisnafin 0-07 reflected their domination. Two points from a re-jigged Finn brought the difference back to the goals and Saul began to take some wrong choices in the final third with some good defending by the visitors also having an effect. A couple of positional changes from the sideline helped get over this and a fine individual goal from Jack Fitzsimons settled things down. Fitzsimons had a fine hour, getting forward and setting up numerous scores. Connor then went on a scoring bust with a goal and three points in five minutes effectively putting the game to bed. Another player who had a fine hour, Ben McGrath, popped up with a goal that reflected his determination in the tackle and driving his teammates forward throughout. Two consolation goals for the visitors were followed by a flurry of points by Harney and Connor to tie the game up. A good performance was underpinned by some fine kick outs from Connolly in goals and the defence of Cunningam, Maguire, Murray and Magilton were well marshalled by the good game management of Shane O’Hare. Midfielders Doran & McComiskey dove tailed well over the hour with Doran covering a lot of ground linking play between the back and front thirds. Up front Harney, McGrath and Fitzsimons ensured the full forwards of Connor and Magee had plenty of the ball to torture the opposition with. It was very enjoyable to see lads giving 100% and playing with confidence to demonstrate the talent they obviously have. The focus of the whole squad throughout was great and will need to be carried forward as there are even greater challenges ahead. Training continues over the July break and next up is an away fixture to Loughinisland on Thurs 20th July.
U16 girls played Loughinisland on Sunday morning. Missing 4 regulars from the Starting 15 it gave an opportunity for fringe players to stake a claim.They started brightly but were up against it for the rest of the half. Inability to win ball up front put constant pressure on the defence and the island picked off scores. A good display in goals from Cara Doran battling displays from Nora Maguire and Niamh Ledlie with Eimear Taggart working hard in the half forward line and Aoife Burns at midfield kept the score line respectable at the break. It was more of the same in second half Saul just couldn’t get going. Certainly a game which will highlight areas were we need to improve. Best for Saul Cara Doran, N Maguire, E Taggart and A Burns.
U14 boys battled hard and perhaps put in their best performance of the season against a tough Liatroim outfit. Seriously energetic performances from Magilton, Obank, O’Hagan and McGrattan kept the game tight in the first half along with some fine scoring from Magee and Murphy, the latter pinging a mighty effort as the half drew to a close. Although Liatroim got away from the lads at the start of the second half a strong work rate all round meant that the boys shouldn’t be too disheartened. Excellent efforts from the likes Ledlie set the tone and the Saul lads finished the game on a high with a coolly taken penalty from O’Hagan and another goal from the same man bringing the boys a bit closer but not close enough.
Best wishes from everyone in the club to the whole Down team as they face Tyrone in Clones next week. Bring ‘er home lads!
Best wishes to Conor Shields & Laura, Johnny O’Kane and Hannah and Mickey Vint & Susie as they tie the knot over the next week. May you enjoy many years of happiness together.
Codolences from the committee and members to the family of Joanne who passed away recently.
Go ndéana Dia trócaire ar a anam dílis.