Senior Men bowed out of the IFC after a fantastic tussle with Darragh Cross in sunny Newcastle. With the highs of the previous weekend still fresh in the memory, our support was optimistic of another step forward in the Intermediate Championship, but in spite of another monumental effort, it was not to be as the greater experience of Darragh took them through. The early optimism was helped with a couple of early scores from Ciaran, Rory & Lorcan that seemed to settle any nerves, but championship is a different game, particularly knock out and Darragh kept the scoreboard ticking over when it mattered. At half time Saul were a point behind after a good amount of possession and further fine scores from Traynor and Callum Mahoney. The opposition kicked on in early in the second half with a couple of goals that at one stage helped them into a substantial eight point lead. Then came the comeback that kept the crowd on the edge of their seats. A fine goal low into the corner from Jamie Morgan who had a fine game, started the belief that this wasn’t over yet. Another goal effort after a crowding of the big square resulted in a fine Darragh clearance off the line and Saul were really taking the game by the scruff of the neck at this stage. Points from the Harney boys and Pierce Laverty sent the game into extra time and the Saul crowd were going wild. Anyone with a heart condition was in grave danger during those t]last few pulsating minutes. The greater experience and efficiency going forward from the Darragh men then really counted as despite having the lion’s share of possession, Saul just couldn’t get the scores needed and Darragh finished the game three points to the good Saul 1-23, Darragh Cross 3-20. While a defeat is always disappointing, the manner in which this game was played by the lads gave all those heading home a certain sense of pride in our team and hope that moving forward, this great group can go on to better things in the next few years. Thanks lads, your immense effort and pride in the jersey was much appreciated by us all. To the management team, a defeat in the championship is always a bitter pill to swallow, but the time spent improving so many elements of play this year is starting to show.
Good luck to Darragh in the next round – keep the East Down flag flying!
U16 Boys started their championship campaign with a tough opener in St John’s on Thursday evening. With their opponents being unbeaten all season, it was always going to be tricky and so it proved. In a game where both sides really got stuck in and just got on with it, the Saul lads better play in the last third was the difference in the end. Niall Maguire at the back was solid throughout and Philip Doran (four lovely points as well) provided a fine link from defence to attack, alongside Decky McComiskey. Up front, Connor & Devlin took some fine scores as well. Next up is another challenge at home to Castlewellan on Thursday evening.
U15 Boys played in the annual county Óg sport competition on Sunday, which was very poorly attended by clubs. Reaching the final against the holders Longstone, the legs finally gave way after a tough week and perhaps a late night watching the fight, they succumbed to the men from the Mournes. A good performance and plenty to look forward to from this group of lads.
Craig Cup 2017
And so Thursday night brought the curtain down on the 2017 Craig Cup. In the semi-finals Lorcan Harney’s undefeated Raholp team faced a very stubborn Rory Mullen’s Loughmoney side who refused to be outmuscled. The game was fairly evenly matched at half time with Ra
holp playing fast attacking football and Loughmoney being resilient in defence and breaking on the counter. The defensive effort by Loughmoney just couldn’t be sustained and in the second half a number of quick goals from Raholp would see them progress to the final. In the other semi-final Ciarán Harney’s Ballintogher side would do battle with Pearse Laverty’s Ringbane. Ballintogher went into the game as slight favourites having beaten Ringbane in their two previous meetings. However Laverty’s Ringbane are a physical side and disregarded their previous results against the fast flowing attacking Ballintogher side. By half time there was little to separate the teams. With the wind behind them for the second half and the Ballintogher keeper proving very hard to beat Ringbane kicked some great points. However as the old adage goes “goals win games” and on this occasion it was correct. Despite the second half efforts and bravery of Ringbane’s young keeper, Ballintogher managed to snatch a goal in the dying seconds and defeat Ringbane by a solitary point.
And so the final games of the 2017 Craig Cup were known, Ringbane v Loughmoney with the final being table toppers Raholp v 2nd place Ballintogher, who would win the coveted cup and who would secure the bragging rights between the Harney brothers. Both teams served up a feast of football with both excellent defensive and attacking skills on show. Raholp started well and with the wind behind them took some great scores but Ballintogher never gave up knowing they would have the wind in the second half. The second half started well for Ballintogher with a quick point and then a well taken goal but Raholp just kept the scoreboard ticking over and overall were deserved winners remaining undefeated. In the 3rd place play-off Ringbane produced a very solid performance taking 18 scores against a Loughmoney side who may have been feeling the effects from the semi-final. Congratulations to the winners, who in fact were all the players who enjoyed the competition and the craic. Thanks to all the mentors, the supporters and those who heled with the organization. Also a special word of thanks to Ciaran Brannigan, who refereed the final.
U12 girls played their last game at home to Dundrum and came out winners in a really good game that was close throughout. The girls demonstrated just how much they have improved during the season with some fine play going forward and tough tackling at the back. Well done girls!!!
U8s played in the annual Carryduff tourney on Sunday. With over 20 teams in attendance, this young team had a great day of football culminating in a win over Darragh Cross at the end to help erase the disappointment of defeat to their seniors on Friday. Some great saves from Paul Jordan in goals who was ably supported by Eoin McLoughlin, Jack Blaney, Ciaran Shields, Oran Convery and Oisin Hanna.Moving forward Ben Shaw, Jack Casement, Rory Thompson, Adam Hamill and Freddie Ferguson all played their hearts out. Well done lads! Thanks to all of the parents who came along and supported the boys and to Carryduff for the invite.
We are looking for entrants for Scór na nÓg for 2018. If you would like to represent the club in music, song, dance or drama or perhaps the quiz, contact Gareth on 07786837198 as we hope to get started in the later part of the summer.
Golf Day is arranged for Friday 8th September 2017 at St Patricks Golf Club, Downpatrick. There will be a SHOTGUN START at 3.30pm and tee times are available by contacting any member of the committee, or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org