1st XV Armagh 2s Away
Lisburn lose out to Armagh
Armagh 2s 15 – Lisburn 13
Last Saturday at the Palace grounds Armagh, the Smiley Monroe sponsored Lisburn lost out narrowly by two points to the home club’s 2nd XV in the Conference League. This league is designed to give Senior Club’s 2nd XVs meaningful fixtures against the best of the Qualifying teams and coach David Irwin, as well as taking the opportunity to play and see at first hand how his proteges are doing, also used it to blood a number of the Lisburn 1st XV squad.
So, it was an eager visiting team that took to the pitch in rather wet and trying weather conditions. David Scott, who had taken over the goal kicking duties from Mark Crowe, opened the scoring for Lisburn in the early exchanges but this was soon negated by the Armagh kicker to leave it 3-3 after ten minutes. The game swung from goal line to goal line over the next half hour with both teams having opportunities to score but as half time approached there was no change in the scoreline as defences were on top. However, in injury time, and with Lisburn pressing on the Armagh line, the homesters got a quick breakout to run the length of the pitch and having worked themselves into a broken field position, they made the score to put themselves in front. The conversion gave them a halftime lead of 10-3.
Any preconceptions that Lisburn had that this might be an easier game than the usual Qualifying League fare were quickly dispelled ten minutes into the second period. Armagh built pressure on the Lisburn line and one of their big back row forwards gained possession out wide to go over in the corner with at least two willing tacklers brushed aside. Lisburn were now 15-3 down and in need of a lift. They set about Armagh with a willingness straight from the re-start and within minutes they thought they had narrowed the gap with a well worked try near the opposition posts but unfortunately the Armagh touch judge had his flag up for an earlier foot in touch and the referee had no option but to call them back for a lineout. This encouraged the Lisburn team to go again and two minutes later they were in for an indisputable try when the backline put winger Owen Hilary over. While Scott missed the difficult conversion, Lisburn now had their tails up and started to take the game strongly to Armagh. This mean’t that at times the game descended into occasional niggling and indeed a player from each team ended up in the bin for incurring the referee’s wrath, the wrong sinners being identified, incidentally.
On the thirty minute mark Lisburn again attacked strongly and once again outhalf Ross Edgar put his backline into space and winger Hilary went in for his second try after splitting the home defence with a strong run. The score was now 15-13 and with just ten minutes to play Lisburn tried their hardest to pull the match out of the fire but Armagh had a number of experienced players on hand to slow the game down and quench the visitor’s attack and the game finally ended with a narrow two point win to the home team. Next Saturday Lisburn have a week off as their opponents Grosvenor are committed to a Junior Cup Quarter Final match.