City of Armagh travelled south into Munster to play Cork side, Sundays Well, on Saturday. This was Armagh’s eighth fixture in the Ulster Bank All-Ireland League and with both Armagh & Sundays Well equal on nineteen points, it promised to be a close fought encounter.
The visitors started well with both backs and forwards combining to exert early pressure on the Sundays Well side. This pressure resulted in Armagh being awarded a penalty which out-half Johnny Pollock kicked to open the scoring at 0-3 after only five minutes play. Armagh were then penalised for killing the ball and O’Riordan, the home outhalf, leveled the score at 3-3. A penalty to the home team for a scrum offence saw the home team 6-3 ahead after ten minutes. Sundays Well continued to impress and a try-saving tackle from Armagh’s full-back Harry Boyd prevented his opposite number from touching down. The home side were awarded a further penalty which left the score 9-3 at half-time.
The second half saw both sides play some very enterprising rugby. Armagh’s scrum-half sent a fine pass out to his winger, Josh Morton, who touched down in the corner. The tricky conditions added to Pollock’s problems as his conversion went wide and the score remained 9-8. Sundays Well immediately replied exerting severe pressure on the visitors and eventually a yellow card was shown to an Armagh forward. The resultant penalty stretched Sundays Well’s lead to 12-8. Armagh returned to the attack and their forwards turned the ball over in mid-field but a Sundays Well centre intercepted a stray Armagh pass to run the length of the field to further increase the home team’s lead to 19-8.
Undaunted, however, the Armagh pack went back on the offensive and following several hard fought phases, the ball was swiftly fed to James Hanna who scored in the corner. An excellent conversion from Pollock reduced the score to 19-15. In the dying minutes of the game Armagh threw everything at the Cork side and a spirited run from centre, Faloon was stopped just short of the home try-line as the final whistle blew.
Despite another narrow defeat the Armagh Coaching Staff were pleased to have obtained a valuable losing bonus point and the result promoted Armagh to fourth position in the league, just three points behind Sundays Well. Matthew Allen made his senior team debut and had a good game in the centre. It was also encouraging to see Daryl Morton back in the front row and performing well.
Next Saturday sees City of Armagh entertain Leinster side, Seapoint, at the Palace Grounds, with the much improved visitors sure to give Armagh a tough match.