Saul rediscover scoring touch to eliminate Clann

Saul rediscover scoring touch to eliminate Clann

22 August 2018

SAUL produced a sublime display to overwhelm Clann na Banna at a resplendent Pairc Eoghan Rua on Thursday night and consigned their first round defeat to Ballymartin to the book of harsh lessons learned.

Donnan Ritchie’s Division 3 table-toppers were out of the traps in a flash and never gave the Banbridge outfit a sniff with an imperious display of expansive, attacking football.

Two early points from the impressive Cathail Arnold had Saul up and running and although Gary Quinn retaliated for Clann na Banna with a point in the fifth minute, it didn’t take long for the Blue and Gold to forge ahead.

Two further Arnold points gave Saul a 0-4 to 0-1 lead after eight minutes before ‘keeper Gareth Brown saved his side’s bacon when he produced a brilliant save to deny Paul Morgan an almost certain goal.

Kieran Maguire converted the resultant 45’ before the roving Ciaran Harney and Liam Devlin swapped points to leave Saul with a two-point lead after 12 minutes.

Arnold, who was the perfect target man at full forward, broke free from Barry Nelson’s clutches and combined with Pearse Laverty and Lorcan Harney before drilling the ball past a helpless Michael McAllister to put Saul into a 1-5 to 0-3 lead after 13 minutes.

Mark Loughlin’s side then plundered the next two scores through frees from Maguire and Darren Brooker, but it was Saul who had the last say of the first half when Jamie 

Morgan pointed his side into a 1-6 to 0-6 lead at the break.

Clann na Banna were then subjected to a concerted blitzkrieg at the start of the second half with Saul attacking from all fronts and six unanswered points from Ciaran Harney (0-3), Caolan Magee and Niall Laverty and Pierce Laverty gave them a 1-12 to 0-6 lead with 42 minutes played.

Clann na Banna hit back with a Brooker free and a point from Conor Cole, but an effortless 45’ from Arnold and a sizzling goal from the swashbuckling Callum Mahoney had Saul in dreamland. 

However, Clann na Banna were not for rolling over just yet and scores from Devlin, Maguire and Patrick Feeney cut Saul’s lead to eight points with eight minutes remaining.

Saul sensed the danger and simply upped the intensity again with points from Pearse Laverty and will o’ the wisp Ciaran Harney.

Rory Hill and Magee exchanged scores before Ciaran Harney responded as Saul took a 3-16 to 0-12 lead as the game drew to a conclusion. Jack Moan took the last 

score of the game for Clann na Banna, but they were a well beaten side on the final whistle.

Saul: G Brown, M Magill, A King, D Toner, J Mahoney, C Byrne, C Mahoney (1-0), J Morgan (0-1), P Laverty (0-2), L Harney, N Laverty (0-1), C Magee (0-3, 1f), C Harney (0-5), C Arnold (1-4, 2f), D Curran. Subs: D Napier for Magill (black card), J Hampton for Toner, J Hayes for J Mahoney, B Cunningham for Magee, S Burns for P Laverty. 

Clann na Banna: M McAllister, A Nelson, B Nelson, S Nelson, S McGarry, D Lennon, S Lenaghan, D Brooker (0-3f), J Treacy, K Maguire, G Quinn (0-1), P Morgan, P Feeney (0-2), L Devlin (0-2,1f), R Hill (0-1). Subs: M Loughlin for McGarry, M McNally for Feeney, J Moan (0-1) for Hill. 

Saul 3-16

Clann na Banna 0-12