Boylan nets early winner for Saints

Boylan nets early winner for Saints

15 September 2021

SAINTFIELD United had the perfect start to their Division 1C victory over Clonard on Saturday afternoon. 

Ethan Barr drifted infield off the left wing and teed up Harry Harpur to cross for Peter Boylan, who swept home to put his side in front. 

Clonard’s hopes of restoring parity were made much more difficult when their striker was sent off for foul and abusive language. Thereafter, the visitors posed some threat on the counter, but in the main it was the Saints who dominated proceedings.

McCloskey and Childs both struck the bar in the first half as the Clonard goal led a charmed life. 

When the Saints did hit the target, the visitors’ goalkeeper was equal to further attempts by Childs, Harpur and Barr in the second half. 

Ultimately, United secured the win and a welcome clean sheet, with the only frustration being that they didn’t add to the scoreline despite numerous opportunities to do so.

Meanwhile Saintfield United seconds suffered away day blues as they went down to a 3-0 defeat to Queens Grads seconds in Belfast on Saturday.

The Saints were led on a merry dance around the Dub before finding the actual pitch the match was being held on – they were then led on another one in the first half.

The match started even enough with both sides creating half chances, but none of any real note and neither keeper was tested. 

However, in the 15th minute a straightforward long punt up field was falling nicely onto the head of Zach Doyle to clear, but unfortunately his teammate didn’t hear the call and in a desperate attempt to the ball only succeeded in chipping it over Zach and into the path of the Queens forward. 

Saintfield’s number one had no chance in nets and Grads went 1-0 up.

The Saints recomposed themselves and fought back, Alex Bookless sending a half volley just wide.

But with nine changes from last week’s squad communication was key and was again lacking in the 30th minute. 

A Grads midfield runner was allowed to go unchallenged to the edge of the box before his shot took a wicked deflection off a Saints defender and into the net. 

The ‘keeper again left with no chance as he was left rooted to the spot by the deflection.

Ten minutes later and it was 3-0, again a runner from the middle of the park took advantage of some weak tackles and ran unopposed into the box to finish.

After some words of encouragement at half time the Saints came out raring to go and did create a number of good chances, David Morrow going closest with a header from a Sam Donnan corner.

But the goal didn’t come and that allowed Grads to see out the hard work from the first half and claim the three points with a 3-0 win.

Saintfield United thirds began their NFU Mutual Bobby Dalzell Cup campaign with a home match against a newly formed Cloughey FC. 

The Saints started the first half with plenty of enthusiasm and energy and were rewarded with a goal after a dangerous ball was put into the box. 

After some bouncing about, the ball found its way to striker Cal Rowland’s feet who neatly slotted past the ‘keeper to put the Saints in the lead before the break after a half of very few chances. 

The second half saw even fewer chances for the Saints as Cloughey looked more secure at the back and provided more of an attacking threat. 

Just as the Saints thought they were going to see out a 1-0 win, Cloughey came up with a wonder strike just before the end of the 90 to draw the game level and take it to extra time. 

The Saints came out in the second half looking to end the game before penalties, but it took until the second half of extra time for them to take the lead once again. 

A poor ball into the Cloughey box was easily cleared before it was played back into the danger area where substitute Aaron Young improvised to hook the ball back over his head, lobbing over the ‘keeper and into the back of the Cloughey net. 

The Saints thought the game was over, but Cloughey had other ideas as they again hit late after a dangerous cross was put in by a Saintfield defender to take the game all the way to penalties.

The penalty shoot out saw veteran keeper Lee Young come out the hero as he saved two of the Cloughey penalties to see the Saints win 4-3 in the shoot-out.

Saintfield United 1

Clonard FC 0