Magee brace enables Saul to return to winning ways

Magee brace enables Saul to return to winning ways

6 June 2018

A COHESIVE and self-assured Saul outfit totally overpowered Ardglass at a positively balmy Ardtole on Friday night.

Still smarting from last week’s defeat at home to Atticall, Donnan Ritchie’s side got their promotion bid back on track with a masterful display against their neighbours.

It took Saul a while to get a full head of steam up, but early points from Rory Mullen and Danny Curran gave them a 0-2 to 0-0 lead after 12 minutes. Ardglass did well to respond and frees from Neil Teggart and Daniel Smyth had the sides level on the 20 minute mark.

Lorcan Harney, who continually made himself available at corner forward and Smyth exchanged scores to maintain the status quo, but all that changed in the 26th minute.

Saul’s patient build-ups finally paid dividends when an attempted point from Cathail Arnold ped short and ended up in the back of Benji Armstong’s net. Three minutes later Arnold converted a 21m free to send the visitors in at the break with a 1-4 to 0-3 lead.

Lee McEvoy reduced Saul’s lead to three points at the start of the second half as Ardglass started positively, but it proved to be a false dawn for Ryan Kelly’s side as Saul punished the home side with unerring accuracy.

Mark McGrady bombed forward from his corner back berth to restore Saul’s four point lead and less than 60 seconds later Caolan Magee hit the jackpot.

Another mesmerising run from Harney left several Ardglass defenders clutching at thin air before he put the ball on a plate for the diligent Magee to palm home from close range.

An Arnold 45’ made it 2-6 to 0-4 after 37 minutes as Saul started to turn the screw. Harney continued to torment anyone who came into his realm and two consecutive points from the will o’ the wisp eased the visitors into a 2-8 to 0-4 lead. 

Arnold and the impressive James Mahoney stretched Saul’s lead even further before Philip Traynor joined in the fun. The smiling assassin was only on the field a matter of minutes when he raced away from his marker with a burst of pace and beat James Telford all ends up with an angled drive.

Teggart gave Ardglass some respite with a converted free and Sean Paul Halpin followed that up with a super point from play, but that was as good as it got for the home side.

Saul were in no mood to give anything further away and as Adam King and Cormac Byrne closed up shop at the back, Traynor floated over a point at the other end before Magee finished a rousing move to the net, 4-11 to 0-6.

Saul poured further misery on Ardglass with points from Arnold (0-2), Traynor and Magee to complete the scoring and send a large visiting support home happy.

Ardglass: M Armstrong, D Kearney, M Crangle, S Taggart, M Magennis, C Armstrong, S P Halpin (0-1), S Rooney, C O’Shea, D Smyth (0-2f), N Teggart (0-2f), C Kearney, L McEvoy (0-1), E McEvoy, C O’Connor. Subs: J Telford for M Armstrong, D Armstrong for Smyth, C Flynn for McEvoy, P Feenan for E McEvoy.

Saul: J Hazard, M Magill, A King, M McGrady (0-1), J Morgan, C Byrne, C Mahoney, C Tumelty, R Mullen (0-1f), C Magee (2-1), S Higgins, J Mahoney (0-1), D Curran (0-1), C Arnold (1-5, 1 45’, 2f)  L Harney (0-3). Subs: C Fitzsimons for Morgan, D Napier for Magill, P Traynor (1-2) for Higgins, C Shields for Harney, R Dunlop for Tumelty, J Hampton for Higgins.    

Ardglass 0-6

Saul 4-15