Saul fly into semi-finals

Saul fly into semi-finals

9 September 2020

SAUL edged out Newry Shamrocks at St Patrick’s Park, Newcastle, in an absorbing Intermediate Championship quarter-final on Saturday.

Looking at the match before throw-in, it was difficult to pick a winner, with both sides apparently very well-matched on paper.

Saul were missing the physical presence of Cathail Arnold in the middle of the park, but benefited from Jamie Morgan and Ruari O’Hare returning to the team and were hoping for Ciaran Harney to continue his excellent scoring run in the championship.

Newry Shamrocks, who had put in a good performance against Saval to make the last eight, had the talented Connor Gough and Shane Hanna available. 

It did not take long for Saul to find their scoring ways with a determined James Mahoney striking the ball into the net early on. This was quickly followed up by a point from play from Ciaran Harney. 

Harney got his second point in the 10th minute and two minutes later Mark McGrady scored Saul’s second goal to put his side in the driving seat. 

This was to change just a minute later when Cathal Gorman converted a point for Shamrocks. That was followed by a goal when Connor Gough found a gap in the Saul back line and fired to the net.

Ruairi O’Hare got on the scoreboard for Saul from a free just before the water break. 

Shamrocks picked up their pace. Cathal Gorman got his second point of the game, which was cancelled out by Harney’s third point before Shane Hanna got a second goal for the Newry side and followed it up with a point from play.

Saul;’s shooting was off target and it was only Ruairi O’Hare’s pointed free in the 28th minute which ensured that the sides went in at half time level at 2-5 apiece. 

Ruairi O’Hare got his third point of the game three minutes after the resumption. Saul’s lead was not to long last as Damien McKeown scored Shamrocks’ third goal after the linesman called on the referee for consultation. It looked more than three steps, but the goal stood and it was the first time Shamrocks led the game.

That was followed up by Shane Hanna adding to his tally with a point. At the second water break Shamrocks led 3-6 to 2-6.  

Saul then produced some superb football. Ruairi O’Hare and Ciaran Harney reduced the gap to just one point. Shamrocks responded through a Tiernan Saul point, but it was all Saul in the last ten minutes.

Shamrocks started to tire and Saul used this to their advantage. Ruari O’Hare claimed his fifth point of the game, followed again by Ciaran Harney also floating over his fifth point.

The winning point came through Pierce Laverty with just three minutes remaining. After that Saul focused on keeping possession until the final whistle.

Saul 2-11

Newry Shamrocks 3-7