Armoy opened their league campaign with a home fixture against B.H.S.F.P Second XV on Saturday.
After a dismal mornings weather the clouds cleared and left the Lime Park pitch in perfect condition for rugby.
Armoy received the kick off and it wasn’t long before they were knocking on the B.H.S.F.P try line thanks to some ferocious rucking from their considerable forward pack. There was phase after phase of go forward rucking until finally the breakthrough was made after 5 minutes. From a ruck 5 meters out scrum half Barry Kelly popped the ball out to on rushing wing forward Alan Bartlett who crashed into 3 would be tacklers and pulled them over the line like a Rottweiler pulling on its lead. The following conversion was successfully taken by Craig Nesbitt 5 meters from the touchline.
Armoy were clearly in the ascendancy but found it difficult to breach the whitewash virtue of some great first up tackling from the B.H.S.F.P defence and also due to some poor decision making and handling errors .However a further breakthrough was made. With time running out in the first half Armoy set up another attack and this time it bore fruit for them. Again the forwards were bludgeoning the B.H.S.F.P defensive line with some basic forward play set up ruck after ruck eventually finding themselves 1 yard from the try line. Alan Bartlett picked up and drove over the line and despite cries from the visitors that the ball was held up the referee awarded the score which was converted by Craig Nesbitt.
Half Time Armoy 14- 0 B.H.S.F.P
The second half got under way and it was more of the same as Armoy used their big pack to make hard yards and their backline supplementing their hard work with some good yardage of their own.
B.H.S.F.P had stepped up the pace a little and forced themselves close to a score after a penalty was awarded 5 meters out. However the Armoy defensive held firm thanks to some strong tackling from Big Stevie Bartlett in particular.
Armoy then broke out of defence and into attack with the forwards setting up good possession which the backs used brilliantly for the 3rdscore of the day. From a ruck just outside the B.H.S.F.P 22 the backs played the ball through the hands reaching outside centre John Cassley who went on one of his typical bullocking runs which got him 7 meters from the try line. He then off loaded to full back Conor O’Brien who side stepped (although it may have been a stumble)inside the tackle and under the posts for a great team try. Again converted by Nesbitt.
Armoy now had their tails up and went out for the decisive score to kill the game off. B.H.S.F.P attempted to run the ball out of their 22 but their hooker was tackled by Alan Bartlett who held him up, from the ensuing maul the ball was brilliantly ripped by prop Neil Porterfield who presented the ball to Barry Kelly.
Armoy quickly adjusted and turned defence into attack. The ball found its way out to Stevie Bartlett who went on a rampaging run leaving 3 would be tacklers in his wake. He then off loaded to Gareth Chapper Christie who had made a great support run which afforded him the easiest of runs under the posts for the try. Craig Nesbitt again doing the honours with the conversion.
Final Score Armoy 28 - 0 B.H.S.F.P 2nd XV
Armoy Line up:Porterfield, Linton, Shannon, Gardner, S Bartlett, McConnaghie, Christie, A Bartlett, Kelly, Nesbitt, Casey, McMullan, Cassley, Devlin, O’Brien.