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Armagh were entertained at Stevenson Park, Dungannon on Saturday where they played their third game in the Ulster conference League. They played before a large crowd who, to a person, were only too glad to leave the comfort of the fireside and get back to see some rugby. The frost and snow had prevented any rugby for almost a month and with the postponement of the Junior Cup Final, the Armagh team were keen to get back into the swing of things.
The game kicked off with Armagh playing into a slight but chilling breeze, with a low sun at their backs. Before fifteen minutes play the visitors had scored two fine tries with left winger Matthew Irwin stepping round the Dungannon defence. One of these tries was converted by Johnny Steenson to leave the score at 12-0. Indeed, Irwin almost scored a hat trick but was forced into touch with a sound tackle from his opposite number. Just before half-time Colin Atkinson scored a break-away try which was converted to leave the score at the 19-0 at the break.

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The second half saw the gentle breeze turn arctic and the failing light required the floodlights. Just after the kick-off Armagh’s out-half, Freddie Cuttle, burst through the Dungannon lines to score at the posts. Steenson converted to bring the score to 26-0. A carbon copy of this try was scored when scrum-half, Mattie Wright, touched down and Steenson’s conversion brought the count to 33-0. Armagh’s centre, Andy Holmes, was forced to leave the field with a knee injury. As no substitutes are permitted in this league the visiting side were forced to continue the game with fourteen men. After twenty minutes of the second half the Armagh side were seen to relax and were awakened when a Dungannon prop forward scored at the visitor’s posts. The conversion went wide to leave the score at 33-5. After another ten minutes play Armagh’s flanker, Clarke, was sin-binned after a spot of ‘hand bags’. This put the visitors at a distinct disadvantage with only thirteen men on the pitch. The Armagh side were able to resist this disadvantage and the game ended with the score board at 33-5. With this heavy scoreline the plucky and youthful Dungannon side never once threw in the towel. Indeed, they showed a lot of enterprising rugby when under pressure.
Armagh’s next fixture is at home when they entertain Limavady at The Palace Grounds in a crucial league fixture.

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