On Saturday at Limepark the Armoy 1st XV were drawn against Belfast High School old boys in a cup fixture.
The High School team came to the ground from a league above the men in black and amber but were sent back to the capital with a loss as the Armoy team took their long overdue victory 33 points to 15.
Although the pedigree of the opposition was excellent and they had some very large impact players, the time spent on the training pitch ironing out the mistakes of the previous matches finally showed for the Armoy men as they played the sort of rugby the Limepark faithful have come to expect.
In what could be described as a tempestuous match, the forwards rumbled up the park with ground being made both rucking and mauling and the pack more than dominated both the scrum and the lineout.
The backs were able to make penetrating runs against their opposition and the centre partnership of Richard Bartlett and Sammy McMullan showed defensive resolve closing down any opposition momentum.
In fact it was the defensive lines that made the different for the Armoy team and the drills that they had been working on over the last few weeks kept the High School team from advancing anywhere up the field.
Trys came from Kyle Greenlaw, Damien McClafferty, Richard Bartlett, Sammy McMullan and with a rare glimpse of fortune and a lapse in the Belfast defence (although he testifies to it being pace and awareness) crowd favourite Neil Porterfield also crossed the whitewash.
Barry Kelly added the 4 out of 5 conversions with the boot as well.
Captain Barry Taggart said “this is the match that we have been waiting for since the start of the season, the team spirit was present from the kick off to the final whistle and all 15 men worked as a team and stuck to their tasks. There’s a great feeling around the club now that we’re heading back to winning ways.”
The Power NI 2nd XV were away to Donaghadee in the league and unfortunately were defeated despite again showing great resolve.
The club would like to note that any new (or returning) players are more than welcome to join them for training on Wednesday night at 7.30pm where a good session and a warm welcome can be expected.
The club will also be staging a snail race in McClafferty’s bar Armoy on Saturday 17th November and everyone is welcome to join in on the fun which starts at 8pm.
Next week the 1st XV are on the road against the Civil Service and the Power NI 2nd XV play Larne 3rd XV at home.