City of Armagh Seconds resumed their conference league 2 fixtures when they welcomed Harlequins seconds to the Palace grounds on Saturday. From the kick off both teams battled hard to make territorial inroads only for possession to be turned over at the crucial moment. After some enterprising play which took the home side into the Harlequins 22, a quick tap penalty was taken which resulted in Andrew Morton touching down in the corner. Harry Boyd who was returning after a spell out with injury was not successful with the conversion.
Shortly after, the visiting outhalf converted a penalty to make the score 5-3 to Armagh. Boyd converted 2 penalties awarded for ruck offences by Quins to extend the lead to 11-3. On 34 minutes the visiting right winger scored a try in the corner after an overlap was created, and with a penalty awarded in front of the posts, Armagh found themselves all square with Quins at 11-11. Boyd restored the lead with another penalty awarded when a visiting forward played the ball on the ground for a half time lead of 14-11. On the resumption and with the introduction of prop Paul Mullan making his senior debut from the bench, play was quickly taken into the Quins 22.
Jonathan Morton took the ball into contact and off loaded to Andrew Brady who scored in the corner. With the home side now building up a head of steam led by captain Matty Allen, Eoghan Baxter collected the ball on the restart and tore off up the pitch. After bursting through several attempted tackles, he found himself with a clear run in to the posts for a great individual try. With the conversion, Armagh now had a healthy lead of 26-11. With Thomas Campbell dictating play at 9, the home side upped their game with Quins struggling to cope with the intensity of the home side’s play.
Campbell made a good break on the halfway to put Baxter away on another long run to the posts and with the conversion added the score was now 33-11 after 45 minutes. Further Tries were added by Stephen Morton after another attack from deep and Michael Rolston after a maul from 15 metres out was carefully controlled to the line. Quins scored a try at the corner though good hands by their backs and Baxter got his hattrick try after a good break by William Holden on the halfway line. Brady got his second with another 50 metre run in. With 3 conversions by Boyd, the final score was 59-16 which after a slow error laden start was just reward for the team’s efforts.
Photo Credits: Ken Redpath