Saul are kingpins over Drumaness Saul 2-8 Drumaness 1-6 ACFL DIVISION 4 FINAL

Saul are kingpins over Drumaness Saul 2-8 Drumaness 1-6 ACFL DIVISION 4 FINAL

2 November 2011

PLAYING with a gale behind them in the first half Saul raced into a ten-point lead at half time and went on to overcame Drumaness in the Division 4 final at Bright on Sunday.

Both sides rose above the elements to produce an exciting game that saw a fantastic finish with Drumaness coming from nine points behind in the final five minutes, a Donal Kennedy goal giving them some hope.

But Saul weathered this mild storm and held out for a deserved victory.

Saul were dominant in the first half and then battled strongly in the second period.

The loss of two star defenders through injury in this second period caused manager Paul Evans to reshuffle his side with good effect.

Full back Declan Arnold hobbled off injured late in the first half and then five minutes into the second period centre half back Rory Mullen retired with a broken finger.

Replacements Sean Laverty and Mark Magill slotted in well and played major parts in this win.

Leigh Cunningham, Callum Laverty and Aidan Brady starred in the Saul defence which was sound throughout while Lee Magee was most prominent at midfield. In attack Nathan Keenan, Michael Vint and Sean Paul Burke were outstanding.

Drumaness never really managed to get to grips with the game in the first half. Tony Ferris, Neil McAleenan, Simon Rice and Conor Deegans worked overtime in defence while Conor Murdock was prominent at midfield.

Kennedy's goal sparked them into life but overall they lacked power and accuracy in attack. Three of their six points came from 45s by Neil McAleenan, who also pointed a free. Neil Stranney also scored from a free.

Saul opened strongly and a point from a free by Cathal Arnold after two minutes sent them on their way. Michael Vint added two points before Neil McAleenan pointed a Drumaness free.

Midway through the half Saul struck for their first goal when Nathan Keenan finished a good move and two minutes later he repeated the feat to establish an eight-point lead.

That was increased with points from Cathal Arnold, a Nathan Keenan free and a long range effort from Lee Magee. Neil McAleenan pointed a Drumaness 45 to leave a half time score of Saul 2-6 Drumaness 0-2.

The second half was a dour affair. Neil McAleenan pointed twice from 45s in the opening ten minutes and Nathan Keenan and Neil Stranney exchanged points as the game entered its final stages.

Kennedy lashed in a goal and Neil Stranney pointed a free, from Drumaness, but Saul had the last say with a Michael Vint point from a free.

Saul: G. Holland; P. Baker, D. Arnold, C. Laverty; L. Cunningham, R. Mullen, A. Brady; A. King, L. Magee (0-1); C. Arnold (0-2, 0-1 free), S. P. Burke, M. Vint (0- (0-3, 0-1 free); N. Keenan (2-2), J. Cunningham, C. Shields. Subs: S. Laverty for D. Arnold, M. Magill for R. Mullen; C. Mullen for Shields.

Drumaness: G. O'Hare; M. Rainey, C. Deegans, T. Ferris; P. Gilchrist, N. McAleenan (0-4, 0-3 45,0-1 free), S. Rice; B. McIlmurray, C. Murdock; G. Murdock, N. Stranney (0-2, 0-1 free), B. McGivern; R. Murdock, D. McAleenan, R. Connolly. Subs: D. Kennedy (1-0) for D. McAleenan, P. Bell for D. Murdock, G. Donnelly for Connolly, K. Rogan for Gilchrist

Referee: E. O'Hare (Dromara).