Report. City Of Armagh & Rainey Old Boys RFC U18s by Barney McGonigle!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Nutty Krust Tournament Armagh U18’s v Rainey U18’s Final Wednesday 10th April 2019
The final of this season’s Nutty Krust U18 Tournament was played under the floodlights at a very dry and calm Chambers Park when the Armagh U18’s v Rainey U18’s game was played on Wednesday evening. The Armagh U18 team recorded a well contested hard earned 34-19 victory having been 14-13 behind at the break. A good crowd had gathered to watch an entertaining game which featured quite a few talented players on both teams. Among the group watching the game was a member of the Ulster Rugby Talent ID Department, former Omagh Academy, King’s Scholar RFC, Dungannon FC, Ulster and Ireland Captain, Willie Anderson, who now works as an Elite Player Development Officer with Ulster Rugby, as well as the Ulster Branch President, Stephen Elliott, and Ulster players, Caleb Montgomery and David Busby, both of whom have strong links Portadown Rugby Club.
The game started with both teams setting their stalls out by attacking with the ball in hand at every opportunity. The first try of the game came ten minutes into the game when a clever kick pass from Charles Rolston was fielded and off loaded in one movement by Dillon Fox to Dylan Nelson who ran in for an unconverted try to give the Armagh team a 5-0 lead. Three minutes later Dylan looked certain to score a second try only for the Rainey left winger, Karl Martin, to deny him the opportunity with a try saving tackle. The Rainey team then took play into Armagh territory and, from a scrum, the Rainey outhalf, Kealan Friel, checked the Armagh defence and sent his full back, Cianan McCann, through on a great line to score a try under the posts. Cameron Young added the conversion to see the Rainey team into a 7-5 lead. Armagh then regained a 10-7 lead when Brandon Gribben made a great break to set up a series of phase play attacks close to the Rainey line. Eventually, Tim Henry got his hands on the ball and forced his way over the whitewash to touch down for an unconverted try. Five minutes before the break Dylan Nelson combined with Matthew Sands, Arran Woods and Aaron Whyte to force the Rainey defence into conceding a penalty. Brandon Gribben made no mistake with the ensuing kick to increase the Armagh lead to 13-7. The Rainey team responded positively to this setback and took play deep into Armagh territory. From a 5 metre scrum Kealan Friel spotted a gap in the Armagh defence and blasted through to touch down for a try. Cameron Young converted the try to see the Rainey U18 team into a 14-13 lead at the half time break.
The Rainey U18 team started the second half in the ascendancy with good work from Kealan Friel taking them deep into the Armagh “Red Zone”. Following a 5 metre scrum Eoghan McOscar gained possession and crashed over the Armagh line to touch down for an unconverted try and give his team a 19-13 lead. Midway through the second half the Armagh team recycled the ball effectively on a number of occasions with Matthew Sands, Sam Rainey and Sam Murray to the fore. Eventually the ball came to Brandon Gribben who made no mistake when he darted through the Rainey defence and touched down for a try. Cianan McCann added the conversion to see the Armagh team into a 20-19 lead. On twenty two minutes the Armagh team stormed out of defence with Sam Murray leading the way. Sam off loaded the ball to Dillon Fox who fixed the last Rainey defender before passing the ball to William Coleman who finished off with a try. Dillon Fox added the extras to see his team into a 27-19 lead. The Armagh team was now in control of a high percentage of both territory and possession going into the closing stages of the game. Close to the full time whistle Brandon Gribben initiated a wrap- around play which finished when Dylan Nelson scored close to the posts. Dillon Fox hit the conversion to ensure the Armagh U18 team finished the Nutty Krust 2019 Tournament as 34-19 winners.
At the post match reception Clive Bowles, President of Portadown Rugby Club, welcomed the players, officials and supporters from both Armagh and Rainey Rugby Clubs, welcomed Stephen Elliott, President of the Ulster Branch, IRFU, Ulster players, David Busby and Caleb Montgomery, both of whom had played in previous Nutty Krust Tournaments, welcomed former Ulster players Terry McMaster, Kenny Hooks and Willie Anderson to the final and thanked Gary Jackson and the Nutty Krust Committee for all the work they did in organising the Nutty Krust Tournament. Clive thanked and congratulated Brian Irwin, Chairman of Irwin’s Bakery, for the continued sponsorship of the Nutty Krust Tournament, now celebrating its fortieth anniversary.
As usual with the Nutty Krust Tournament the players all received a post-match meal which was sponsored by Jim Hewitt Meats, prepared by the staff in “Scrummies” kitchen, and organised by the ever present Sid Rowe. All players, as well as their coaches, received a Nutty Krust loaf on departure.
Caleb Montgomery presented Joel Stafford-Barton, and his assistant referees, Lynsey Davison and Peter McClure, with commemorative medals, and then assisted David Busby with the presentation of Nutty Krust Finalist medals to all the Rainey and Armagh players.
David Busby presented the Nutty Krust “Man of the Match Award” at the post match ceremony to Sam Murray, the Armagh RFC U18 No 4.
The final presentation of the evening came when Stephen Elliott, President of the Ulster Branch, IRFU, and Brian Irwin, Chairman of Irwin’s Bakery, presented the Nutty Krust Trophy to the captain of the victorious Armagh U18 team, Aaran Whyte.

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