For a second week in a row, City of Armagh RFC, headed south to Dublin: this time to play their already twice postponed fixture against Seapoint RFC. This team currently lie at the foot of Ulster Bank AIL 2B League, however, this lowly position does not reflect their undoubted ability as a team in a very competitive league.
Armagh kicked off with a stiff breeze at their backs and hoped to utilise the elements in order to gain an advantage. Seapoint made the livelier start and had Armagh under a degree of pressure for the first five minutes. However as the game progressed Armagh began to secure more possession but had problems in breaking down a very solid Seapoint defence. On 25 minutes after a series of good picks and drives, Armagh were awarded a penalty which was converted by Johnny Pollock to take a 3 nil lead. Armagh continued to exert all the pressure but struggled to break through a very resolute home defence. Much against the run of play on 30 minutes, Seapoint were awarded a penalty which they goaled to level the scores. Armagh continued to dominate, missing a further penalty leaving the half-time score 3 points apiece.
The Armagh supporters were concerned that the team had not fully utilised the wind in the first half and feared that Seapoint would now use it to better effect. This fear seemed justified as Seapoint were successful with a further penalty attempt with just two minutes of the second half gone. However, this was to prove the last foray into the Armagh ‘22’ by Seapoint as Armagh went on to dominate both possession and territory for the remainder of the game. Increasingly, the Armagh team were able to put together multiple phases between forwards and backs but still could not work an opening against a very determined Seapoint outfit. This pressure eventually told when Armagh were awarded a penalty on 70 minutes which was converted to level the scores. Try as they did, Armagh continued to dominate but could not just get over the try line.
This was a classic game of two halves with Armagh finding themselves guilty of not fully utilising the wind advantage in the first half, but on the other hand, putting together a very credible performance into the same wind in the second. In the end they will be disappointed by returning home with only 2 league points which keeps them in fifth place in the league table.
This Saturday will see City of Armagh host the team in sixth place, Barnhall RFC and a determined effort will be required to secure a home win.
Photo Credits: Ken Redpath