REPORT Armagh Seconds cruise to victory

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Armagh Seconds cruise to victory

Armagh seconds played their counterparts from Malone in a second xv league game on Saturday in what turned out to be balmy conditions at the Palace grounds. With Matthews Hooks, Grant Hutchinson and Daniel Reaney making their debuts for the team, the youthful looking backline as it turned out revelled in the firm under foot conditions. From the start Armagh had a penalty awarded for a Malone infringement which Matthew Hooks confidently converted to give the home team an early 3-0 lead. Shortly after, Hooks cut through the centre from 22 metres to touch down for an unconverted try, 8-0 to Armagh. On 20 minutes, Daniel Reaney came off his wing to take a ball at pace in the middle of the park and after a neat offload, Hooks touched down again at the posts and also converted his own try, 15-0 to Armagh. By this stage Malone knew they were in a game and responded accordingly by using their forwards and halfbacks to bring play into the Armagh 22. Having repelled the visitors with a clearing kick downfield, Malone ran the ball back for their centre to score at the posts. With the conversion added and a following penalty the score was now 15-10 to Armagh. With the half time whistle about to sound, Armagh attacked left and Hooks put a delightful chip through to the corner and although Paul Campbell was in attendance, the ball bounced favourably for Hooks to touch down for his hat trick try, Half time 20-10 to Armagh. With coach David Eakin emphasising the need for the team to reduce the penalty count, the second half kicked off with early pressure leading to a penalty by Hooks, 23-10 to Armagh. From the restart, Matthew McSorley received the ball in his own 22 and then set off on a mazy run through Malone defenders to touch down for a superb unconverted try, 28-10. Amazingly after a charge down from a Malone kick ahead on the half way line, McSorley again set off for the line and after a 50 metre run touched down for Hooks to convert, 35-10. With O’Hagan, Magillan and Davy Martin busy in the loose exchanges, another attacking move initiated by Gareth McNeice in midfield led to Paul Campbell stretching for the line on 58 minutes, 40-10. Daniel Reaney not wanting to feel left out showed great pace and agility to score 2 quick tries again from distance both converted by Michael Thompson 54-10 to Armagh. The final try was scored by Hooks who received the ball on the 22 line and proceeded to side step his way over for his 4th of the match. With the conversion by Thompson, the referee blew up early to leave a final score of 61-10 to Armagh.

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