Ulster Carpets U18 Youth Final
Armagh 19 Letterkenny 12
Cormac Fox proved to be the hero for Armagh in the Ulster Carpets U18 Youth Cup Final today at Kingspan Stadium, as he kicked 14 points in a superb individual performance.
In a first-half that threw up limited chances, it was Fox who carved the only score of the half on 19 minutes as he placed a delightful chip and chase in behind the Letterkenny defence, which allowed his half-back partner William Holden to collect and touch down in the left corner.
Fox was at the heart of everything good for Armagh, linking up play and probing with kicks in behind. On the half-time whistle he had a chance to extend the Armagh lead but his penalty attempt from the right sideline just fell short under the crossbar.
Half-time score: Armagh 7 Letterkenny 0.
It was Letterkenny who applied the early pressure in the second half, but they were unable to reap the rewards of this on the scoreboard.
On 44 minutes Fox was able to settle the Armagh side back into the game with a penalty and three minutes later he brilliantly converted another from the left hand sideline.
Indiscipline cost Letterkenny again on 55 minutes as they conceded yet another penalty within sight of the posts and Fox duly accepted, moving Armagh 16-0 in front.
Despite the scoreline, Letterkenny continued to battle gamely and eventually made the breakthrough on 60 minutes as they created space on the left wing for substitute Kevin Grant to get in behind and touch down, however they were unable to add the extra points.
With a vociferous support behind them, Letterkenny started to make more regular headway into the opposition half and looked a lot more dangerous.
On 70 minutes, Letterkenny winger Oisin Toal scored the try of the day, sidestepping no less than 5 Armagh defenders to get in under the posts. Peter Scott made no mistake with the conversion to leave the score 16-12.
In a nervy final ten minutes both sides battled back and forth in search of winning scores but defences remained resolute.
With time running out, Armagh forced Letterkenny back inside their own 22, and when Fox dropped back into the pocket, it was clear what was coming. Following some grinding work by his forwards, the ball was fed out and Fox nailed the drop-goal to put his side 7 points in front.
Letterkenny failed to retrieve possession from the restart and the referee sounded the full-time whistle, much to the loud relief of the Armagh supporters.
Congratulations to both sides on serving up an outstanding showpiece finale in today Youth Cup Final