After a lay off of five weeks without a match Armoy turned out at Limepark to face Donegal II.
Armoy were keen to shake off any rustiness early on and were dominant in the early stages of the match. It was after 10 minutes that the home team opened their account. Some good attacking play had Armoy inside the Donegal 22, the ball was quickly passed out along the line to wing forward Gareth Christie who dived over the line for a try. Unconverted.
Again from the kick off Armoy pressurised the visitors and again it was the forwards who provided the score. A strong run with ball in hand by tight head prop Mark Donald gave Armoy a good attacking platform inside the Donegal 22. From a series of rucks the ball was popped through the hands to hooker Ally Bartlett who powered over the line underneath the posts. Converted by Craig Nesbitt.
With things seemingly going in favour of the home team they were found to be guilty of taking their foot off the gas. A few sloppy tackles started to appear as Donegal upped the tempo and kept Armoy pinned inside their own half. The pressure finally told although the score came from an Armoy error. Armoy took a scrum against the head but somehow the ball ended up in the hands of an on rushing Donegal attacker who evaded a few tackles and over for a try. Converted.
This should have served as a wake up call to Armoy but however again they were found to be slow to react as a cheeky kick into space from the Donegal scrum half. He collected his own kick and with some quick footwork danced around the Armoy defence for a brilliant individual try. Converted.
From this set back Armoy finally switched back on and rampaged up the park. With Donegal pinned inside their 22 the home side forced a penalty which was slotted over by Craig Nesbitt to put Armoy back in the lead.
From the kick off Armoy again set about their task and pushed Donegal back deep iside their own territory. from a clearance kick the ball was caught by prop Mark Donald who again showed good strength running with ball in hand. He passed to centre Gordon McConnaghie who in turn passed to winger Noel McKelvey who had the simplest of tasks to cross the line and under the posts for a try. Converted.
Half Time: Armoy 22 Donegal II 14
The second half continued in the same vein as the first half with Armoy putting pressure on the visitors for spells and Donegal reciprocating with good spells of play of their own. It was Donegal who would add to the score sheet next and again their scrum half was the creator as he seemed to find massive holes in the Armoy defensive line to run in from 22 metres and under the posts for another converted try.
Armoy’s lead was now only 1 point and again they showed great resiliance to conjure up another score. This time from a penalty inside the Donegal 22 the ball was tapped to wing forward Barry Taggart who crashed through the tackles and over for a try. Unconverted.
With a six point lead Armoy then closed the match out comfortably.
Final Score: Armoy 27 Donegal II 21
Praise must also go to Armoy centre David Linton who also did some good work with ball in hand.
It is also worth mentioning that Armoy won the traditional “boat race” in the club house after the match very easily with a man to spare. Better luck next time boys.
N Porterfield, A Bartlett, M Donald, D McClafferty, J Wallace, B Taggart, G Christie, I Caldwell, T Christie, B Kelly,N McKelvie, D Linton, G McConnaghie, M McConnaghie, C Nesbitt, Subs, M McClafferty, S Doyle.
Armoy now look to next week and the visit of Strabane II to Limepark.
Only a top drawer performance will do so could everyone please turn out to training on Wednesday night.