Butler Shield, round one
BALLYNAHINCH VI 3
Armoy remain on course for 40th Anniversary honours after beating a young Ballynahinch VI in the Butler Shield 1st round at Lime Park on Saturday.
The game started with the home team on the charge and using their forward superiority to keep ‘Hinch penned into their own half for long periods. But to the visitors credit all Armoy could yield from their efforts was a solitary penalty after 20 minutes which was slotted over by Eoin Scullion.
This sparked ‘Hinch into life and they immediately levelled the score with some good play forcing Armoy to concede a penalty in front of the posts.
Armoy, however, finally found their way over the whitewash after 30 minutes. Barry Taggart took a quick tap penalty inside the ‘Hinch 22 only to be stopped 2 metres short from the ruck Neil Porterfield picked and drove forward spun out of the contact and feed the ball to Stevie Bartlett who crashed over for a deserved veteran made try which was converted by Eoin Scullion.
The second half was more of the same with Armoy comfortably repelling any ‘Hinch go forward ball and themselves making go inroads forwards. Again though it was 20 minutes into the half before there was any impact on the scoreboard and again it was from a penalty which was skilfully slotted over by Scullion from distance.
After 60 minutes Armoy Captain Mark Donald made an inspired substitution by taking off scrum half Eoin Scullion for a well earned breather and replacing him with veteran scrum half Tom Christie for what proved to be a 10 minute masterclass.
Armoy were putting on the pressure and found themselves camped inside the ‘Hinch 22. After some good interplay between backs and forwards Armoy forced a ruck 1meter from the ‘Hinch tryline. At the base of the ruck Tom Christie picked the ball up through a very faint dummy which out smarted the ‘Hinch defence and ever so cooly dotted the ball down for a try under the posts.
The less said about Aiden Boyle’s conversion attempt the better.
At this Tom Christies work was done and he was replaced by Scullion for the closing 10 minutes of the match.
After the match Captain Mark Donald thanked everyone for the performance and urged everyone toattend training on Wednesday evening in preparation for next weeks away fixture to Larne.