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Shannon 13 vs 25 City of Armagh RFC

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City of Armagh travelled on Saturday to face Shannon on the back pitch at Thomond Park in their third match of the Energia AIL Division 1A campaign. Congratulations go out to Six players who made their AIL debuts for the club across the first 3 games, Brayden Laing, Lewis Finlay, Sam Karlsen, James Anderson, Cameron Doak and Jude Postlethwaite.

Conditions in Limerick were perfect despite the heavy rain all week and with an outstanding performance, City of Armagh's registered their first win in Division 1A marking a huge milestone for the club. Armagh got to work straight away, putting early points on the board inside the opening 10 minutes through a penalty kick from Brayden Laing, Shannon 0-3 Armagh. Armagh added to the lead 15 minutes later with a well worked maul try from the forwards with Neil Faloon carrying the ball over the line. 

Brayden Laing added the conversion to make the score 0-10 to Armagh. Shannon bounced back, scoring their first points of the afternoon in the 35th minute from a penalty kick, making the score 3-10. Timmy McNeice then saw an opportunity and picked up from the back of a ruck on Shannon's 22 to cross the line untouched on the stroke of half time. This was again converted by Laing to give Armagh a 14-point lead going into the second half, Shannon 3-17 Armagh. 

Shannon were first to score points after the break, kicking a penalty to make the score 6-17. The home side then added to this 3 minutes later with a score under the posts which was converted, closing the gap to 13-17. They continued to hammer the Armagh defensive line but the boys in Red and Black stood strong. After this period of pressure, Armagh responded with another penalty kick from Laing to edge further ahead 13-20. On 72 minutes, the visitors scored an unconverted score in the corner through Shea O’Brien, giving Armagh a healthy lead, 13-25 going into the closing minutes of the game. 

The final whistle blew in Limerick at 13-25, a big win for the boys and their first in Division 1A. Head coach, Chris Parker commented on the Armagh performance saying, “A very pleasing performance, Thomond Park is a notoriously difficult place to go and Shannon are a quality outfit. We knew If we kept improving, the result would come, as our performances have been good so far. I thought our defence was excellent, in particular when Shannon had a prolonged spell of pressure in our 22 and we did really well to hold out. As a group we have to adapt quickly in this league and take the learnings on board from week to week and I think that’s been reflected in the performances. 

We have a long way to go and plenty of room play even better as we go into the next block of fixtures.” 

This week City of Armagh get a well-deserved rest and are back in action at the Palace Grounds on the 4th of November when Dublin University are the visitors.

Photo Credits: Dermot Lynch

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