City of Armagh were hoping to turnaround their recent poor form in Division 2B when they travelled to play Rainey Old Boys. Unfortunately a below par performance from the visitors saw the home team victorious by 21 points to 10.
On a wet and windy afternoon in Magherafelt, Armagh kicked off with the wind advantage but gifted possession immediately to the home team. Rainey used their heavier pack to trundle into the Armagh half and were awarded a penalty for offside after six minutes. Full back, McIlroy made no mistake to give the home team a 3 nil lead. On ten minutes a kick into the Armagh 22 was carried over the try line giving Rainey a 5 metre scrum. The home pack exerted pressure on their opposition and the scrum went down. Amazingly the referee awarded a penalty try right away and the conversion gave Rainey a 10 point lead. Another successful penalty saw Rainey leading 13 nil in as many minutes.
The visitors needed to respond and a quickly taken lineout on the halfway line saw scrum half Harry Doyle sprint 50 metres down the touchline to score in the corner. There was controversy however when the touch judge called play back and the try was disallowed. Within two minutes Rainey scored a second try. A turnover thirty metres out saw Rainey break down the right wing and scrum half Wilson was up in support to touch down in the corner. The conversion was missed but Rainey now had a commanding 18-0 lead.
The visitors missed a close range penalty and a second attempt from further out also went wide of the posts. Two minutes before the break, Armagh did open their account when Kyle Faloon tapped over a penalty following an offside offence and the yellow carding of a player from both sides.
Armagh started the second half looking to get quickly on the scoreboard but it was the home team who stretched further ahead with another penalty following a turnover, making the score 21-3.
Torrential rain now made handling very difficult and tactical kicking prevailed from both teams. With ten minutes of the game remaining, conditions improved and Armagh had their best spell in the match with storming runs from Daryl Morton and Neil Faloon. A Rainey centre was sin binned and Armagh looked to take advantage of the extra man. The visitors did get a consolation try when hooker, David Swann ran in under the posts following forward pressure. Full back Faloon converted and the referee blew for full time with Rainey victorious by 21 points to 10.
City of Armagh’s next match will be at home to league leaders, City of Derry on Saturday 20th February.
Photo Credits: Evan Morton