ONCE again Armoy 1stXV found out the harsh reality of life in the Qualifying leagues.
This week’s opponents were the P.S.N.I who play in Q3 as opposed to Q4 where Armoy now find themselves.
Conditions were perfect for good open rugby and in the opening stages the men from Limepark more than held their own particulary in the pack. However it was the more experienced P.S.N.I backline that broke the deadlock as they were able to exploit spaces with some quick hands and well angled runs to run over for a converted score.
Again form the restart Armoy managed to hold their visitors inside their half but when possesion was won opportunities were scarce courtesy of a resolute P.S.N.I defensive line. From inside their own 10 meter line the P.S.N.I backs again ran good lines and shipped the ball out to the wing. The winger showed a clean pair of heels and over into the corner for his teams second score. Before the break it was a similar P.S.N.I attack that lead to their third try of the day.
Half Time Armoy 0 P.S.N.I 17
Into the second half and Armoy came roaring out of the traps. They managed again to pen the P.S.N.I penned inside their own 22 and then through a good spell of rumbling forward play were forced to concede a penalty. Armoy ran the penalty and gave it to the forwards who took it in and recycled. Again the ref penalised the Peelers for a ruck infringement and again the Armoy men ran the penalty and again the lawmen fell foul of the ref. This was to happen on two further occasions by which time the ref had had enough and awarded a penalty try to Armoy which was converted by Craig Nesbitt.
This try gave Armoy a glimmer of hope but it was short lived as again the P.S.N.I backs were handed possesion inside the Armoy 22 and quickly passed the ball out for there winger to again crash over in the corner for a score.
Five minutes later with Armoy once more on the defensive the P.S.N.I out half who had been dictating the pattern of the match for long periods dodged through the tackles inside the Armoy 22 and ran in for a converted try under the posts.
With ten minutes remaining the Armoy forwards took the game by the scruff of the neck in an attempt to salvage a bit of pride. They fought hard and kept the visitors pinned deep inside their 22 for the rest of the match. Cheered on by the voiciferous band of Armoy supporters they were so close to achieving the elusive score on many occasions but again the P.S.N.I held firm.
Final Score Armoy 7 P.S.N.I 29
After the match Armoy vice Captain Gareth Christie thanked the XV players for their efforts and reflected on the many positive aspects of the match but also highlighted that there is a lot of work to be done at training on Wednesday night before next weeks match at LimePark against Civil Service. Next week also sees the PowerNI2ndXV away to Holywood 3 so a full turn out is expected at training.Big thanks also go to Paul Austin who was Captain for the day in the absence of Barry Taggart and Vice Captain Gareth Christie who has a knee injury.