By Times reporter
The first disappointment of the day was the very late call off of the 2nd XV’s home game against Donegal 2nd XV due to the men from the west only having 10 players available to travel. This was unfortunate as Armoy 2nd’s had had a very productive training session on Wednesday evening and were eagerly looking forward to this fixture. Therefore the spot light was on the 1st XV who were on their travels to Belfast to play the P.S.N.I in their latest fixture in the Gordon West Cup.
The opening exchanges of the match saw the P.S.N.I dictate the run of play and saw them run in for an early score in the corner which was followed on in close succession with a penalty goal. It was then that the Armoy men began to assert themselves and forced their way into the P.S.N.I 22.This pattern of play led to a penalty which was taken quickly by Armoy wing forward Alan Bartlett who powered through 2 tackles for an unconverted score. It was now Armoy who were in the ascendancy but this was to be short lived as they lost 2 players in quick succession.
Firstly prop Eamon Scullion who had up to that point put in a sterling performance had to leave the action with a back injury. He was then followed onto the sidelines by Captain Gareth who had a recurrence of the knee injury that kept him on the sidelines last season.
With Armoy now down 2 players the P.S.N.I went full throttle in an attempt to exploit gaps in the Armoy line. This they did on 2 occasions prior to the half time interval.
This pattern was to prevail into the second half and despite some dogged defending the men in green were able to wear Armoy down on numerous occasions.
Despite being on the back foot for most of the second half the Armoy men showed a great fighting spirit and never gave up. Going into the last 10 minutes of the match the P.S.N.I were also reduced to 13 players as there loose head prop and no 8 were forced to retire from the match via injuries in this bruising encounter. With the teams now even Armoy came back into the match got the final try of the day. After some good interlinking play between forwards and backs which saw hooker Ally Bartlett and winger David McMullan cross the whitewash together although it was more likely that McMullan got the vital downward pressure for the score.
After the match Gareth Christie thanked all the players who travelled for putting in a gutsy display in the face of adversity.
Please could all 1st and 2nd XV players make their best efforts to attend training on Wednesday evening.
It will be held again this week at the Glen Rovers hurling club @ 7:30. Last week there was a good attendance.
Many thanks to our neighbours Glen Rovers GAC for the use of their facilities while our new lights are being installed.