ARMAGH Rugby I XV 62 v BANGOR Rugby I XV 8

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Armagh entertained Bangor at the Palace Grounds on Saturday afternoon. Having beaten Bangor handsomely 43-12 in the away league fixture on February 12th the home match looked a fair probability to pick up another winning bonus point. Bangor has yet to win a league match this season so they appear to be resigned to being relegated at the end of the season.
The game kicked off in near perfect conditions. Within five minutes Armagh’s number 8, Stewart Lamb made a strong break down the right wing and off-loaded to Matty Maguire who touched down. The conversion went wide but the home side had illustrated how they could score more or less at will. Indeed before the tenth minute of play the Armagh left winger, Matthew Irwin, scored a fine try which was converted by out-half Adam Gowing to bring the score to 12-0. Armagh found themselves penalised in the twelfth minute when a flanker strayed off side which was kicked and brought the score to 12-3. Ten minutes later Bangor formed a rolling maul and managed to catch the Armagh pack unawares.

They touched down but the conversion went wide to bring the score to 12-8. By half time the score had mounted to 29-8. The crucial bonus point was, by now, secured it seemed that Armagh were dominating all areas of the game. The final score 62-8 reflected the poor performance of the Bangor team. The coach really has a lot of work to put in to lift the spirits of a team which takes a hammering like this week in week out!
Just after the final whistle, news filtered through that Cooke had beaten Clogher Valley but they had failed to secure a winner’s bonus point! On Thursday evening Clogher had also been beaten by Portadown. Yet again they had deprived the winning side of the bonus point! This series of games has thrown the league table wide open.
Armagh have two league games scheduled for this week. Tuesday evening sees Armagh entertain Limavady at The Palace Grounds kick-off at 7-30pm. Next Saturday’s fixture, when Armagh travel to play Portadown Chamber’s Park to play what must be regarded as the crucial game of the season. Watch this space!

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