City of Armagh 40 Omagh Academicals 3
City of Armagh hosted Omagh RFC at The Palace Grounds on Friday evening in the quarter final of the First Trust Senior Cup.
Despite inclement weather, a large crowd of supporters turned out to watch the match and were treated to an entertaining game.
Prior to the kick- off both teams observed a minute’s silence in memory of the late Billy (Min) Davidson. Min was a Past President of the club and a true stalwart who will be sadly missed.
The match kicked-off and with just a minute on the clock, Armagh second row, Ollie Miller scored under the visitor’s posts. Chris Cousins’ conversion was successful to open the scoring at 7-0.
Omagh were seen to have a strong set of forwards but when the home side won possession, the Armagh backs were able to punch holes in the Omagh defense. After five minutes play, Armagh were caught with their hands in a ruck and Omagh chose to kick for touch from the penalty.
Armagh stole possession from the line-out and exerted more pressure on the visitors.
Ten minutes in and the referee awarded a free kick to Omagh following a scrum. A penalty for not retiring ten metres saw the Omagh out-half, Scott Elliot, land the kick to put the score to 7-3.
Eighteen minutes into the game, Armagh full-back Shea O’Brien made a break from his own half and after fending off several Omagh defenders, he off-loaded to Gareth McNeice who touched down at the posts for Armagh’s second try.
Again Chris Cousins was on target with the conversion to put Armagh 14-3 ahead.
With halftime approaching, Armagh winger, Andrew Willis, put in one of his signature runs and scored a try in the right hand corner. The conversion went just wide of the posts and with the score at 19-3 Armagh were seemingly taking control of the match.
Omagh however fought back and with vocal, travelling support behind them, continued to put up strong resistance.
With the score at 19-3, the second half kicked-off with Armagh increasing the match tempo. The Omagh defence appeared to struggle to match this and centre Evin Crummie made a determined break and passed to Michael Reaney who, following a classic side-step, scored in the left corner.
The conversion was on target to stretch the score to 26-3 in Armagh’s favour.
Despite the score-line, Omagh were seen to dig deep and Armagh were forced to work hard to gain any possession. The home side were penalised for a high tackle inside their 22 to give Omagh impetus and for a period they launched a series of attacks on the Armagh line.
A turn-over eventually relieved the pressure and Armagh fought their way up to the half-way line. Armagh’s pressure was then converted with another Andrew Willis try under the Omagh posts and the conversion had Armagh ahead 33-3.
In the final minute, Chris Cousins put in a pin-point cross field kick which winger Ryan Purvis collected and touched down just left of the posts.
Again, the conversion was on target to end the game with a score-line of 40-3 in favour of the home side.
This Saturday, City of Armagh travel to Banbridge for a local derby to play the side’s third fixture in the SONI Premiership League.