Armagh lose in the finest of margins 11-13 v Sundays Wells

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Fresh from their resounding victory over Malone last week Armagh entertained Cork side ,Sundays Well, on Saturday with a justifiable level of confidence. They shared third place in 2b Ulster Bank League with Sundays Well & with the home advantage Armagh certainly looked the fancied side.
the game kicked-off in near ideal conditions but within two minutes of play Armagh were penalised for a rucking offence right in front of their posts. The ‘Wells out-half, Shane O’Riordan, stepped up and his kick put the visitors into a 0-3 lead straightaway. Armagh’s woes were added to when they were penalised for off side in almost the same spot. This time a clever cross-field kick caught the Armagh defence and touch judge off-guard and the ‘Wells full-back,Cathal Quinn, touched down for a very questionable try! Again the boot of O’Riordan was on firm and the conversion added to Armagh’s nightmare!
With a lead of 0-10 Sundays Well were able to change their game somewhat and started to show their defensive game! Armagh, on the other hand, were forced to keep attacking in order to get some points on the board. Eventually the points did come when Manihera Eden kicked two penalties, although he did manage to miss one in front of the posts! At 6-10 Armagh eventually started to play some good rugby but time after time the Cork defenders just closed down each and every Armagh attack. A further penalty brought the score to 6-13 in Sundays Well’s favour and all looke lost for Armagh. With three minutes to play and desperation showing on the faces of both the Armagh players and supporters alike a final move form the home side sent right winger Andrew Willis over for a try in the corner. With the score now at 11-13 a conversion would at least save face for Armagh. Unfortunately it wasn’t to be as Mani’s conversion went wide and the visitors supporters and players went ecstatic in celebrating their win.
Just how a team can rise to defeat the likes of Malone, who are two leagues above Armagh then miss out with home advantage is somewhat of a mystery! Certainly the team can battle well in open play & can control set pieces for most of 90 minutes but to miss out on a result like Saturday’s is worrying! Those missed kicks effectively dropped Armagh from potentially taking second League spot down to sixth position. Bearing in mind that it is essential that Armagh end up the season in a top four league position. This is imperative to benefit from next seasons league reorganisation when the current four leagues are split into five divisions!
Next Saturday sees Armagh travel to Dublin to play De L Salle Palmerston. Hopefully they can return with a win and some league points!

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