Main Image Armagh P6 & P7 teams played Derry sides prior to the senior game on Saturday
as a curtain raiser.
Images Armagh youth played Omagh on Saturday. James McCall did some serious defending, No way through for Richard Reaney, Ethan Allen gets stopped
ARMAGH rugby 6 CITY OF DERRY 25
Armagh entertained City of Derry on Saturday afternoon in the Ulster Senior League. Derry have asserted their exceptional form by topping this league. With tis record in the background it was never going to be an easy fixture for the Armagh side. Although they had harvested confidence from their convincing win, last Saturday, against Sundays Well and Derry were smarting after their resounding defeat at the hands of Cork UUC last week.
Again, Armagh were keen to make the Saturday afternoon a real occasion. This week they had arranged to play City of Derry P6 & P7’s in mini rugby curtain raisers. To see these young players put their skills on display was a real thrill, especially for all the parents who turned up to lend support.
Armagh kicked off the game in perfect conditions and only four minutes had been played when a home defender was penalised for not releasing a ‘Derry player after a tackle. The resultant touch kick gave ‘Derry a line out inside the Armagh ’22 but the home team stole the ball and launched an attack down the left wing. This, in turn, put the ‘Derry defence on test and when they strayed off side the referee blew up for another penalty. Armagh chose the line out option and when the ball was fed out to the Out-half, Dylan Ferreira, he planted the cheekiest of drop goals to put the score to 3-0.
This score advantage was short-lived and as the game progressed it was becoming obvious that the ‘Derry side were beginning to take control in all areas of the game. Fourteen minutes into the game saw a home defender failing to roll away after a tackle and the visiting full back, Peter Henderson, was on target to open the city of Derry scoring. The visitors then added to Armagh’s worries with a try from their hooker, David Ferguson. This was to leave the half time score at 3-8.
The second half started off with City of Derry scoring a try from their centre turned flanker, David Funston. By now the Armagh side were beginning to feel the pressure and James McCall was sent to the sin bin for what appeared tackling a man off the ball. Not to be outdone the Armagh defending was by now all the more ferocious. Mark Riddell for on was seen to put in some serious tackles. After such a tackle ‘Derry were again penalised for not releasing the ball at after the tackle. Dylan, yet again, was on target with the kick to put the score to 6-13. But this was soon followed with a further try from the ‘Derry winger, Simon Logue, and the conversion then put the score up to 6-20. Again Armagh were reduced to fourteen men when the referee decided to sin bin Willie Martin for hands in a ruck. The final try came from the ’Derry centre, Chris barber, to finish the score at 6-25.
All in all it can only be said that Armagh were soundly beaten in all quarters of the game. Both in tight and open play they let themselves be bullied around the field. Indeed, the last time a team visited the Palace Grounds and dominated to this extent was when Cashel played in the All Ireland League last season. The good item to report is that there are no injuries to report, the bad news is that Armagh have the unenviable task of travelling to ‘Derry next Saturday to play the same opposition in the Senior Cup.
NI Power Armagh 3rdxv v Lurgan 62-0
On Saturday, Power NI Armagh 3rdxv took to the field with fresh confidence after last weeks emphatic victory against BHSFP. Lurgan kicked off with the sun and a strong breeze in their backs, and with the very first touch of the ball captain Chris Wallace broke through the defence and scored under the posts. Stanley Hamilton converted.
With the next restart Power NI Armagh started where they left off continuing to put Lurgan under pressure. After some good forward play the Armagh backs took over and the ball made its way to Eddie Irwin who beat his opposite number and the fullback to score out wide. Again Stanley Hamilton converted.
Lurgan restarted and immediately turned the ball over putting the visitors under pressure deep in their half. After some great defence and some big tackles from Matty Allen and outhalf Andy Knipe Power NI Armagh were able to get out of their half and return the pressure to Lurgan.
A scrum on the 22 was the next attacking platform for Armagh, with Hamilton picking from the base at ‘9’ and passing back inside to Wallace who grabbed his second for the day. The floodgates seemed to open at this point with another 2 tries for Irwin and tries from Hamilton and Allen, leaving the visitors with a healthy 41-0 half time lead.
Power NI Armagh kicked off the second half with the same great pace they played the first half at, with Knipe moving the ball well through the backs and Robert Straghan getting his first try of the game. 2 more tries followed for Power NI Armagh and both converted by Hamilton. With 15 minutes still to play the ref blew the game up.
Armagh can take a lot away from this game with some excellent attacking rugby and a clean sheet to go with it they are getting back into the swing of things again.