Banbridge Rugby Club II XV 0 v Armagh Rugby Club II XV 32:

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Armagh 2nd’s played Banbridge 2nd’s in a league fixture at Banbridge on Saturday. Playing with the stiff breeze in sunny conditions, Armagh were keen to move the ball from deep. Stout defence from Banbridge kept play in the Armagh half for the first fifteen minutes. After some prompting from the sideline, outhalf Simon Cuttle and fullback Matthew Steenson started to use the elements to gain territorial advantage. On 17 minutes Steenson crashed over close to the posts for a try which he converted to give Armagh a lead of 7 – 0. Play resumed again back in the Armagh half with Banbridge playing a pick and drive game into the wind. After more Armagh pressure, Philip Fletcher was held up over the line, however on 31 minutes after good play by both forwards and backs, James Johnston went over in the corner for a try which brought the score to 12 – 0. A few minutes later Robbie Faloon playing on his favourite wing position, scorched in from 60metres after a mistake by the Banbridge backs and some quick hands by Jonny Clarke putting him on his way. The team were now playing some great rugby with Steenson adding a penalty on the stroke of half time to give the visitors a healthy lead of 20 – 0.

Armagh disrupted Banbridge’s tactics straight from the restart by gaining possession and charging up field led by Brian Bassett, Will Hill and Willie Martin. Gareth McNeice who stepped to Captain the team on the day in Davy Martin’s absence, grafted away in his usual style. The blossoming centre partnership of Allen and Straghan probed the Banbridge defence throughout the game and were able to set the wingers away on several sorties deep into the opposition territory. Jonny Allen put Josh Morton in at the right hand corner and shortly after spun a long pass out to Faloon on the other wing who was able to cut in to score at the posts to make the conversion by Steenson a formality. Shortly after the final whistle sounded to leave the score 32 – 0 to Armagh. Banbridge had their moments in this game and did have a prolonged spell of pressure on the Armagh line. However such is the spirit in this side they were repelled time after time.

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