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1st XV kick off season with spirited cup performance

Belfast High too strong on the day.
Armoy 1st XV kicked off their season with a home tie in the Gordon West cup against Belfast High School F.P RFC.
There was a positive air at Lime Park after last weeks 2nd XV performance and this was carried into the early stages of the match as Armoy more than held their own in the opening exchanges to edge ahead with a penalty in the opening 10 minutes. This lead was short lived as BHSFP turned the screw from the kick off and managed to close down the Armoy attack from the restart and forced a turn over. The result off which led to the ball being fed out wide to their former Malone and Ballymena 1st XV centre Rhys Botha who crashed over in the corner for a try.
Their next try came virtue of some good forward play some 10 minutes later which resulted in their big no 8 crashing over for a converted score. Armoy to their credit didn’t let their heads drop and tried to assert themselves as an attacking force but unfortunately were unable to make any significant impact due to the disciplined BHSFP defensive line. The final score of the half came after some good link play between the BHSFP forwards and backs to score another unconverted try in the corner.

Half Time Armoy 3- BHSFP 17

With Armoy now having the wind advantage in the second half the plan was to keep the BHSFP men pinned inside their own half. This tactic was effective for long spells but again their was no way through the disciplined blue wall. With possession now being passed from side to side the next score was from the BHSFP men. They had forced their way inside the Armoy 22 and from a ruck the ball was given to their gargantuan second row forward who used his considerable bulk to fall just short of the line but managed to stretch out his arm to place the ball onto the line for another unconverted try. Their next score came via a penalty some 5 minutes later. With the score now at Armoy 3-25 BHSFP the men from Lime Park finally got the try their efforts over the match fully deserved. From a scrum just inside their own half they shoved the BHSFP pack backwards and at the rear of the scrum veteran scrum half Tom Christie disrupted the ball from the BHSFP scrum half. Armoy out half Eoin O’Connor was quickest of the mark and hacked the ball forward to leave him in a footrace to the line. He hacked the ball onward and won the race to the ball inside the BHSFP try area for a converted try.
Final score Armoy 10-25 BHSFP.
After the match Armoy 1st XV captain Gareth Christie applauded his players for another gritty performance. He also urged all players to make the effort to attend training on Wednesday evenings in order to run through set plays for both forwards and backs. It is only by getting things right at training that things will work out on match days.
Next week sees the 1st XV take on Ophir RFC 1st XV at Lime Park. Afterwards @ 5pm their will be a launch evening for the Friends of Armoy RFC where the plans for the redevelopment of Lime Park will be unveiled.

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