City Of Armagh RFC Notes: III XV 15 v Queens RFC III XV 25

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Armagh 3rd’s entered new territory as they took on their counterparts from Queens University last Wednesday night under the rain. The game moved to midweek because of Ulster’s Heineken Cup Semi Final on Saturday, gave Armagh an idea of what’s to come when they move up through the Junior League Sections.
After a five week break, Armagh appeared very rusty and started slowly making simple mistakes and gifting the opposition possession. Indeed the students took advantage of this when their scrum half picked up at the back of a scrum and ran through untouched to score. This was converted. From the kick off, Queens maintained their pressure and when Armagh failed to clear properly, the Queens Full back scythed his way through to score form his own 22. Again the try was converted. Armagh were having no luck in the lineouts and gifting the opposition possession. From this, they converted a penalty after 20mins to give themselves a 17-0 comfort gap.
Armagh finally lifted themselves and took the game to Queens. After sustained pressure and ‘close’ efforts from Andy Morton and Joe McMahon, Stanley Hamilton managed to squeeze over the line after 35 mins. Andy Knipe added the conversion. Armagh retained possession from the kick off and Brian Bassett and Stuart McMahon carried the ball well. On the stroke of half time, Hamilton again managed to squeeze through after good work from Chris Wallace. Knipe missed the conversion and the hosts went in 17 – 12 down.

The second half continued as the first had ended with Armagh pressuring the Queens line. This pressure resulted in a penalty on 50 mins which Knipe converted to close the gap to two. Queens then had a flanker sin binned which seemed to give the visitors a lift and their winger converted a fine try in the corner on 67 minutes. Armagh tried to retrieve the ball but a spirited Queens side didn’t give up and their Out Half dropped a goal on 70 minutes. This set up a close final 10 minutes during which Armagh couldn’t cross the line.
Queens were well deserved winners and Armagh learnt a lot to carry forward to Junior League section 5 next year. A good season unfortunately came to a bitter end but they’ll carry the positives forward.

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