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Armagh Seconds sweep aside Malone at Palace Grounds

City of Armagh Rugby Club. Palace Grounds

Armagh Seconds played a Conference 2 league game on Saturday against Malone Seconds at a sunny Palace Grounds.

In what turned out to be a high scoring game, the home team always had the edge on a combative Malone side and from the kick off took the game to the visitors.

After good interplay from backs and forwards, John Faloon brushed off a couple of tackles and almost made it in at the corner. When the ball was recycled and moved left Captain Matty Allen swept through at the posts for an unconverted try.

With the front row of Matthews, Sleator and O’Hagan leading the battle in the scrums, Armagh were able to exert pressure on the larger Malone forwards ensuring the home backline were on the front foot.

Con Oliver touched down at the posts from a pick and go, this time converted for a 12-0 score line.

Malone reacted with a try of their own after a rehearsed scrum move to bring the score to 12-7  on 15 minutes and further Armagh points followed with a penalty, try and conversion for Young to stretch the lead to 22-7.

Malone added a penalty and debutant Ross Finlay touched down in the corner after Armagh pressure at a lineout.

David Bingham and Trevor Girvan were combining well at 8 and 9 to keep the Malone backrow guessing although the visitors were starting to exert pressure in the scrums. Young was proving a thorn in the side of Malone when he broke clear for a try on 38 minutes to bring the score to 34-10.

The home team then proceeded to switch off and allowed Malone to score an unconverted try on the halftime whistle, 34-15 to Armagh.

Andrew Morton and David Spratt were introduced for the restart, however Malone scored two unconverted tries to close the gap to 34-25 by the 55th minute.

With some concern and the prompting of captain Allen, the team responded by taking play into the Malone 22 where Young gave John Faloon a flat pass for him to cut through to score at the posts, 41-25.

He repeated the feat after a 60 metre attack from the backline ended with another seven-pointer and Malone replied with a try of their own, even though at this stage they were depleted in numbers due to injuries.

The final try came from prop O’Hagan who raced over at the posts to take the final tally to Armagh 55, Malone  32.

This was a good performance from the locals with plenty of enterprising play,  however the habit of switching off at times could prove costly in tighter games.

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