On Friday night City of Armagh Seconds played Ballynahinch 3’s at the Palace grounds in a league game. Playing with the strong breeze in the first half the home side were under some early pressure from the kick off but then gradually took the game to the Hinch.
Andrew Morton playing out of position at hooker along with Eoghan O’hagan and Grant Hutcheson formed the front row and ensured the back five had a solid platform to work on at scrum time. On 16 minutes and just outside the visitors 22, Kyle Faloon converted a penalty in front of the posts to put Armagh 3-0 up. With McNeice, J Morton and Clarke carrying well in the loose and with the backs keen to run the ball, several probing attacks came to nothing due to some stout defence from the Hinch.
However on 28 minutes, Kyle Faloon took the ball on the blind side and after slipping out of a tackle, had the pace to scorch over at the posts. With his conversion Armagh led 10-0. There were further runs from Paul Campbell, Matthew McSorley and Robbie Faloon deep into Hinch territory with the only reward an excellant 40 metre penalty from Kyle to stretch the lead to 13-0 at half time. By the time play resumed, it was raining and the wind had picked up.
Hinch set about reducing the deficit using the wind to good effect to pin Armagh inside their 22. Several times play was brought to the home line, however a tremendous defensive effort from 1 to 15 kept the line intact. With Harry Doyle directing operations from the base of the scrum and cleverly using the box kick to clear his lines, the centre partnership of Allen and Campbell were putting in some big hits.
With the Armagh scrum now having an advantage through the power of Oliver and Magillan, pressure was relieved for a period of time. Hinch did eventually get a try with a cross field kick to score at the posts, which was converted. With a few minutes left Kyle missed a difficult penalty chance and immediately Hinch took the ball down the pitch. Just outside the 22, the home team regained possession and cleared the ball to touch for the final whistle to sound. Final score Armagh 13 Ballynahinch 7.
Photo Credits: Ken Redpath