ARMAGH Rugby 2nd XV 12 v BALLYMONEY Rugby 2nd XVsecond’s 14

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The second xv suffered the first defeat of any Armagh team this season on Saturday afternoon when a strong Ballymoney side came to Armagh and went away with a deserved 14-12 win.
Armagh had a strong side selected and had territorial advantage for almost the entire first half but couldn’t manage to take any advantage of this. Unfortunately Mathew Steenson recently promoted to the side did not have his kicking boots with him and missed several kicks which he normally would have secured. Early pressure was always blown up by an officious referee whose decisions puzzled both sides and didn’t ever permit the game to flow.
Eventually, Armagh’s pressure paid off and a well worked maul gave them their first score later to be converted by Steenson.
However, Ballymoney struck back with 2 penalties to leave the half-time score 7-6 in Armagh’s favour.
The second half was not any better and Armagh struggled to put any meaningful play together.
The only bright spark was a well engineered try from Wallace playing out of position on the right wing. Again a difficult conversion was missed as were 3 other penalty attempts by Steenson and Cuttle.
The home spectators were getting nervous and rightly so when slack defence allowed Ballymoney in for a try. With 5 minutes to go Armagh thought they had done enough to win but a strange refereeing decision from a defensive line-out allowed Ballymoney to grab a win. The team should not be dismayed as they all collectively had a day off and with determined effort at training they should bounce back.
This is a useful side that really missed Sam Shepard for his all-round experience and attack. Better days lie ahead.

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