Clonakilty 13 City of Armagh 13
CITY of Armagh set out in determined form for their first outing in the All-Ireland League and were more than happy with a draw against their Munster opposition.
Narrowly losing to Clonakilty last year, the Armagh men countered the attacking play of the Cork outfit to secure a 13-13 tie.
As the game got underway, Armagh found themselves unable to get their hands on the ball for long periods whille the hosts proved very physical and were dominating the loose play.
After only four minutes Clonkilty’s right-winger, Mike Kelliher, evaded some poor Armagh defence and touched down a fine try in the corner. This was converted and suddenly the 7-0 score looked ominous. To add to the Armagh side’s dilemma, they were caught offside inside their own 22 and Clonakilty’s kicker again landed well to open the score out to 10-0.
It was obvious that the Armagh side were slow to get into their stride but slowly and surely their confidence and fighting spirit came through.
The Clonakilty pack was heavier than Armagh but the visitors were able to hold their own in scrums. Eighteen minutes into the game the referee awarded a penalty to Armagh when the home team failed to release a tackled player.
Johnny Steenson obliged and the half time score 10-3 somehow gave just the slightest glimmer of hope.
Twenty minutes into the second half winger, Josh Morton, burst through the Clonakilty defence and scored just left of the posts. Again Steenson was able to convert to bring the score to 10-10.
A further penalty was awarded when Clonakilty were caught offside and Armagh made it 10-13. The scoring was completed when Armagh were caught ‘crossing’. Again the home side’s kicker, James Deasy, was able to put another three points on the board.
Armagh Firsts’ next fixture sees them entertain Sunday’s Well at the Palace Grounds on Saturday. The Seconds, meanwhile, are also at home to Dungannon, and the Thirds away to BHSFP, while the Fourths have no game, All kick-off at 2.30pm.