City of Armagh played City of Derry in the SONI sponsored Ulster Senior League at The Palace Grounds. Having lost away to Derry twice this season, Armagh were keen to repeat the home win they had notched up last time when the teams met in the All Ireland League.
The match conditions were almost perfect as the game kicked off. Just four minutes into the game Neil Faloon broke loose from the base of a ruck and scored at the Derry posts. Harry Boyd’s conversion was on target giving the home team the prefect start at 7 - 0. The Armagh forwards and backs were combining well and Derry struggled to get out of their own half. This dominance was rewarded with three further tries, scored by Josh McKinley, Simon Carlisle and another from Neil Faloon.
The half time whistle went with Armagh having a commanding lead, 29-5.
Although Armagh had completely dominated the first half Derry appeared to get fresh determination in the third quarter of the game. Some confusion in the home defence let a Derry attack through and the visitors scored a try in the left corner. The conversion went wide, however, leaving the try the sole points that the visitors were to score in the game.
Armagh upped the pace of the game in the last quarter and Neil Faloon finished off his hat-trick of tries as he scored in the dying minutes of the game.
The Armagh coaching team were well pleased with the home team’s sound performance and with the evening’s scoring tally of 5 tries to 1 conceded reflected their domination of the match.
The team’s next fixture is set for Wednesday evening when they travel to Ballynahinch to play their fourth game in the SONI Senior League. The next Ulster Bank All-Ireland fixture is scheduled for 26th March when they entertain Greystones at The Palace Grounds. This is the penultimate league fixture. The final game is set for the following Saturday when Armagh travel to play Dungannon in Stevenson Park. This local Derby promise to be a real nail-biter as only four league points separate both sides at present.
Photo Credits: Ken Redpath