THIS IS WHERE IT STARTS: When A Group Of People Start A Rugby Club With Nothing! Special Feature: ARMOY RUGBY CLUB – Features to follow on Donegal Town, Limavady & Portadown & Bangor RFC: INTERVIEWS, REPORTS, HISTORY, RUGBY FEVER! A Review Of A Proud Club And The People Who Love Playing Fighting Rugby

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Every rugby club in the world starts from nothing, special feature below on Armoy RFC, and new speacial features to follow on Donegal Town RFC, Limavady RFC & Portadown RFC


The roots of Armoy Rugby Club are steeped in the will to battle against the odds, striving to succeed where others would not even dare tread. The country turf at Limepark is drenched in the blood sweat, tears & joy of rugby since its formation in 1974. Knicknamed “The Tractor Boys”, they are serious about rugby but don’t let the knickname decieve you because they have a tendency to put together some awesome back lines!

At least one of the original founders is playing I XV rugby to this day. Tom Christie along with his son and the many many well wishers all around the local community have a pride in their side – ARMOY RFC, the black and yellow jerseys. We asked Tom – How were the yellow and black colours chosen, with a wry laugh almost feeling silly saying it and then remembering why he still plays he said, “its a bit like a wasp or a bee, we have a sting in our tail at Armoy!”

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Well if a trip to Ravenhill yielding a national victory in the Harden Cup and numerous league wins as recent as last season – a game in which Tom Played – is anything to go by then the sting in the tail is true alright.

But that is not the only victory the club have enjoyed. In fact last season they were league champions! Not everyone experiences the satisfaction of being the undisputed champions and we caught up with a few of the guys who played in those famous games,

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CLICK HERE For 137 Pictures of Armoy Playing
Passion Commitment, pride, freindship and hard graft are terms that rugby people live by and one of the most important achievements of the club was winning the Harden Cup @ Ravenhill under the coaching of Albert Sherrard, but Armoy also excelled at Sevens Rugby winning the famous Coleraine 7s on many occasions, and the club also notched up league victories in the qualifying 4 league of 2005 and the minor north leage which they also were victorious in last season. The club like all rugby players has enjoyed tours over the years, the first one was to the Isle Of Man, and they also toured Jersey, Paris, France, & Scotland several times.

They make no bones of their intentions, wishing to play qualifying rugby and are determined to build the club and regain a II XV and begin a youth system.
We caught up with club captain Gareth Christie who comments below

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Certainly with the volunteer nature of the club and the qulaity of the pitches, being one of the few clubs in Ulster to have a purpose built stand, they are in the process of developing the club further and have 3 pitches + a training pitch which is floodlit & clubhouse which has seen some great times over the years.

Francis Douthard a long standing member of the club and this years chairman comments on the spirit of volunteering which is the cornerstone of rugby clubs across the province.

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The club was started in 1974 with enough guys to field a team by Brooke Craig a local farmer who had played at Ballymoney Rugby Club. He owned the land and a section was marked out as a pitch and thats where it started. Nestled right on the outskirts of the town of Armoy, we noticed the following description of the town.

Armoy (from Irish: Oirthear Maí)[1] is a small village in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. It is 9 km south west of Ballycastle and 13 km north east of Ballymoney. In the 2001 Census it had a population of 414 people. It is on the River Bush and lies within the Moyle District Council area. The village is situated between two of the nine Glens of Antrim, Glenshesk and Glentaisie. The Armoy area also includes half of Knocklayd mountain.

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The River Bush once flowed directly north to the sea at Ballycastle, however, after the last glacial event in Northern Ireland deposited the Armoy Moraine (on which the church and round tower sit) the river was deflected to the west and it now reaches the sea via Bushmills and Port Ballantrae.

One thing is for certain, its one of the most picturesque places you could play rugby, and since the predominant rock in the area is limestone it is easy to see understand the naming of the grounds as Limepark.

Financially in a very stable position and with a growing playing population the club has also over the years contributed to the Ulster Rugby age grade teams with Eamon Sculllion, playing Ulster level, and currently Jonathan McMullan flying the armoy Flag at the highest levels. Jonathan when no game is on at Ballymena can often be found cheering on his friends at Armoy, in fact he was at the recent battle with City of Derry and gave us a comment below.

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For those interested in joining the club, playing rugby for the first time or sticking the boots back on after an abscence from the game then the catchment area of the club includes Ballymoney, Glenravel, Ballymena, Ballycastle. Current club captain is Gareth Christie and before that the captain was Barry kelly.

While on a trip to the club we caught up with local man and x player Adrian Glenn who gave us the perspective of the community and as an x-player – his comment is next,

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Coached by Ian Caldwell the club have had an excllent start to the 2011/12 season and with an excellent committee including President Tom Christie, Chairman Francis Douthard and Secretary Neill Porterfield, the future is looking very good for them. The club wished to mention their secretary for 20 years David McCormick player and secretary a highly repsected man.

Combined with the Club colours the official Crest includes the famous round tower with a plough symbolizing the famous world championship ploughing contest held in Armoy and obviously drawing on the farming heritage of the area.

Proud and talented Armoy Rugby are set to develope their club. Financially secure and ready to push forward we look forward to covering them this season.

Thnakyou for an immense tour of your club, the support in the community is superb and so long, long, long may the rugby thrive @ LimePark!

In conclusion then we will leave you with coverage from a recent game at the club which we were able to cover, and below are video clips and a link to lots of pictures, including a copy of the final league winning report of the 2010/11 season.



HISTORY OF VERAGE ON INTOUCH RUGBY: Links to match reports, pictures and all the items we have carried:


CLICK HERE For Armoy Rugby Club Notes: 14 Man I XV Hold Firm For A Well Earned Win

CLICK HERE For INTOUCH TV: Armoy Rugby Club ON THE CHARGE: Vid, Report & Pictures v City Of Derry


CLICK HERE For Armoy Rugby Club Notes: I XV 38 v Letterkenny II XV 20

CLICK HERE For Clinical Armoy Rugby Club Rout League New Boys Tir Chonnaill Rugby Club

CLICK HERE For Armoy Rugby Club I XV 60 v Ballymoney Rugby Club V XV 0:

CLICK HERE For Armoy Rugby Club Notes lose out in hard fought friendly

CLICK HERE Exclusive! Armoy Appoint New Coach! Report – CLICK HERE

CLICK HERE For Armoy Rugby Club Reinstate Youth Section!

CLICK HERE Strabane Rugby XV 11 v Armoy Rugby XV 24:

CLICK HERE Armoy Rugby Keep League Aspirations v Inishowen Rugby

CLICK HERE Armoy Rugby I XV managed to keep their 100% league record intact in what was a real game of 2 halves v Ballymoney Rugby V XV

CLICK HERE Armoy Rugby travelled to Judges Road Derry on saturday looking to maintain their 100% league record this season


Published: April 3, 2011
Posted in: Armoy, Donegal Town
Tags: Armoy Rugby, Donegal Rugby, League Champions

Despite Donegal II XV visited Limepark Armoy on Saturday looking to disrupt Armoy’s league title dreams. With Armoy 4 points ahead of their closest rivals and with potentially another match to play ,a win was vital for them to secure the league crown.

As Donegall stepped of their team bus Armoy captain Gareth Christie knew that this Donegall side were mostly not the same team that Armoy had brushed aside in Donegall some months earlier in the season.
Straight from the kick off it was the visitors who attacked their hosts and kept them in the own half for long periods due to the nervy start that the Armoy players were having.

However, the home side rode out the storm and after 10 minutes started to assert themselves into the match. Again as usual the Armoy pack were dominant at scrum time and this was the platform from which they would get their first score. A ball from the base of the scrum was fed down the back line to centre John Cassely from the resulting ruck the ball was popped to onrushing no 8 Stevie Bartlett who crashed over the line. The conversion was planted sweetly over the bar by jarvis Traynor.
Armoy now had the bit between their teeth and immediatley set about looking for more points. Again good play from the forwards led to a good move through the backs taking Armoy just shy of the goal line. this time the pop pass was given to out half Barry Kelly who crashed over for the score. Conversion unsuccesful.
To their credit Donegall did not let their heads go down but reasserted themselves and were soon rewarded with a penalty in front of the Armoy posts which was easily converted by their out half.
This gave them more confidence and their renewed belief and led to their first try. From a line out Armoy secured the ball which was fed out to the backs inside their own 22. The ball was spilled and a quick thinking Dongall back hacked the ball on. The resulting foot race had only one winner as the donegall player fell on the ball for a try which was converted.
Half Time Armoy 12- Donegall II 10
Right from the kick off the Donegall pack pressurised forcing some loose play from Armoy. This pressure resulted in a penalty which was dispatched with great aplomb by the Donegall out half. With Donegall now in the asendancy and Armoy becoming increasingly nervy that the league may be slipping away from them Donegall used this to their advantage. From a ruck inside the Armoy 22 which had been secured by Armoy the ball was somehow scooped out on the Donegall side. With the Armoy players waiting in bewilderment for a referees whistle for hands in the ruck Donegall rightly carried on as no whistle came and their out half strode in for a score under the posts which he converted.
After a rousing expiletive ridden piece of motivation from Armoy captain Gareth Christie, Armoy seemed to wake up and started to play the kind of rugby that had served them so well all season.It was not long before they were back scoring. This time a series of barging runs and rucks tired out the Donegall defence and with them stretched a fast flowing back move led to the ball reaching winger Enda Casey who raced into the Donegall goal area like a mad Giraffe and under the posts for a score.Converted by Traynor..
With Armoy still a point behind another score was needed. It wasn’t long until it arrived and again it was Enda Casey who scored. This time a back move was given to Enda who still had a good bit of work to do. He broke the inital tackle and raced to the corner. Donegall defenders scurried back and managed to stop him just short of the line but Enda used his height advantage and stretched out his arm and placed the ball down for the score in the corner.Again Jarvis was on the money with a great conversion wide out.
Again though Donegall were trying to spoil the party and were awarded an easily kickable penalty which narrowed the margin between the teams to 3 points with only 5 minutes to go. Armoy were again getting nervy and with barely 2 minutes on the clock Donegall were awarded another penalty inside the Armoy 22 on the 15 meter line. The out half again stepped up and kicked for goal. This time the ball sailed wide and Armoy managed to see the match out without too much further distress. Final score Armoy 26 Donegall II 23
On hearing the final whistle every Armoy player raisedd their arms and cheered with a mixture of elation and relief. They were Ulster Minor League North Champions for season 2010/11 there will be a goods night craic at their end of season dinner on 16/04, although their season won’t be finished by then as they now wait to see who they face in the semi final of the Ravenhill cup.

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