Drumgath 0-13, Saul 2-17
The road to Drumgath takes you through the Mournes and round many’s a twisty bend and down through the years that’s also been the way the blue and gold have felt when leaving with a defeat and a dizzy ‘How did that happen?’ thought.
With the sun shining on us at last it felt we were in for something different. A large contingent behind the wire were in confident mood after last week’s win and so were the lads as they started brightly. A quick free kick point from Harney the elder and another from Captain Mullen sandwiched a home point. Saul were on top and attacking in waves lead to a fine point from the boot of Pierce Laverty. Ciarán Harney won a fine ball around the middle and sent a fine long ball in to Harney the younger who fizzed it to a steamrolling Mullen who carried for his four steps before lashing it past the ‘Gath keeper who had no chance! Six minutes on the watch and 1-03 to a point was a fine start. Drumgath broke away for a point and then Ciarán went on a good run to send over. During the next seven or eight minutes poor handling, misplaced passes and slack marking & movement thankfully wasn’t punished by the home side as they returned only one score. In years gone past this was when a good start began to unravel but thankfully the boys shook themselves and a free kick from Ciarán got them started again. With Lorcán bearing down on goal he was taken out and the referee who enjoyed a decent hour signaled for a penalty. Rory stepped up and sent to the net with a similar gusto to his first effort and almost immediately followed this with a fine run and point. Drumgath were being overrun at this point and even though they stole forward for two points, these were consolations as points from Ciarán (2) and Pierce ended the half. A half that demonstrated some excellent team work and fine individual skill too.
HT Saul 2-09, Drumgath 0-05.
Previous experience should have taught us that this game was far from over and the home side hit a point straight from the throw-in. Was this to be the start of the revivial? Well no was the answer as these lads have learned from nights like the corresponding fixture last year. A fine move from the resulting kick out ended up in the left quarter and a brilliant pick up from Ciarán sent him free. A slipped ball to Lorcán put him through on goal and only the crossbar denied him. Captain Mullen in support eventually won the ball and sent over. For many a side that would have quelled their hopes, but the South Down men hit the next three points and had Saul on the backfoot. Some excellent tackling took the wind out of their sails and once again it was Harney C who got the scoreboard ticking over again. His unselfish running and willingness to put his body on the line made such a difference throughout. The rest of the half was pretty much score for score as the introduction of Cathail Arnold gave the middle third some additional power going into the last third of the game. The highlight of this period was a kickout from Hazard who had a tidy game kicking out, that found Mullen who sent the ball onto Danny Curran who slipped the ball to Callum Mahoney at speed. Mahoney carried before offloading to his half back partner Jamie Morgan who found Lorcán who sent over for the best score of the second half that epitomized the fine team work we are beginning to enjoy frequently.
FT Saul 2-17, Drumgath 0-13.
For a change the road home from Drumgath didn’t seem so long and the sun shone inside most cars as well as outside. The talk was mostly around the cracking Mullen goal in the first period and the fine point described above in the second, but there was so much more to enjoy. Hazard’s kick outs, Laverty’s handling, Mullen’s drive, Harney’s score taking (CH) and then Harney’s runs (LH), along with some lovely passing from Magee and Morgan. Tough marking tackling and marking from King, Magill and Toner gave the home side little joy from inside the 20 and this will need to continue as the league continues over the next few weeks. The tireless running of others like Danny Curran and Mark McGrady was also appreciated. Three matches, three wins, three extremely enjoyable performances. Not much else we could ask for at this point is there?
Next up, Dromara at home.