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OPHIR R.F.C. 68 vs 0 Armoy League

Last Saturday Ophir’s First XV supported by MCW Properties and BIFFA, hosted Armoy at Mount Pleasant in the Qualifying League.

The teams had met twice already this season, at Armoy in the away League fixture and also in the Gordon West Cup. Both times Ophir had won and were optimistic about their chances in this encounter.
It didn’t take long for Ophir to stamp their authority on the game – 2 minutes in and scrum half Karl Davis was strong enough to break through two tackles to touch down. David Walker converted and that opened the floodgates. Tries from winger Alan O’Neill and another from Karl Davis put Ophir in a commanding position. Then Armoy were desperately unfortunate to lose two players, both with cuts to the head, inside the space of 3 minutes. It was inevitable against 13 men that Ophir would dominate proceedings and by half time further scores from Connor Gallagher and Stevie Hastings, and a typical powerhouse try by Neil Gray saw Ophir 38 – 0 ahead at the break.

To add to their misfortune, Armoy’s open side flanker suffered a hamstring injury 5 minutes into the second half and was no more than a spectator for the remainder of what turned out to be a much shortened game. With such depleted opposition, Ophir ran in scores at will, starting with hooker, Ross Nelson touching down at the corner flag. 3 minutes later and after a tremendous drive to take Armoy to 10 metres from the Ophir line, Karl Davis took a quick penalty, brushed through 4 tackles and ran almost the full length of the pitch to score under the posts; the most spectacular try of the afternoon. Keeping it in the family, Karl’s brother, Anthony got the ball on the Armoy 22 and jinked his way to the line. And Stevie Hastings doubled his tally, outflanking his opposite number on the right wing. With Ophir now more than 60 points in the lead the referee wisely decided enough was enough and signalled the end of the match. A solid win for Ophir but all credit to Armoy who ended the game with just 12 fit players and with justifiable pride in their sterling battle against the odds.

Next Saturday Ophir Firsts travel to Londonderry YM and the Seconds are at home (Valley Park) to Ballyclare Fourths.

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