It was a wet and windy day at Lime Park Armoy, the pitch was heavy under foot but the students battled hard from start to finish as the two best defensive teams in the league went head to head. Luck divided the teams in an outcome in a match that could have swung either way on the day.
The first half was a close fought encounter as both teams defended vigorously and a strong referee kept Armoy honest but first points went to Armoy after 15mins of play as they kicked a penalty, 3-0. The students battled back hard and only after Armoy conceded 8 penalties in a row did the students finally take advantage of a positional penalty and kicked 3 points of their own, 3-3. The continual penalty count frustrated the students as they couldn’t gather momentum against Armoy a yellow card may have enabled the game to settle down into some rhythm but this wasn’t to be and it was Armoy to strike next 10mins before half time by kicking a penalty to take the score to 6-3. 5 mins before half time the University lost hooker Jeremy Gregg who took a nasty tackle.
The second half saw the student start the more aggressive of the two teams stretching Armoy from one side of the pitch and Jamie Ball kicked them well deep into the corners, a knock on from a lineout by Armoy saw a scrum 8 metres from the line and pick up from Aaron Doherty drive well from the back of the scrum and quick recycling of the ball seen Stuart Whitcroft dive for the corner only to be denied by millimetres on the touch line.
The students found it hard to create any flow in their game due to excessive penalties from Armoy, however credit has to go to Armoy on their well drilled defence as they played the conditions well and kept the students at bay. It was this strong defence that put pressure on the students which saw a break down in communications and a dropped pass, the quick thinking of the Armoy number 6 saw him hack the ball through, he controlled the ball well to see him go over the line 10mins before time, the converted to make the score line 13-3. The students battled bravely to the last minutes of the game and believed if the game were to continue it would most definitely have finished on a different score.
Although the students were beaten they can take great pride from the game, as it was a hard fought game from both teams, and one of those games that could have went either way. There will be hard lessons learned from this game, and the students shall take them on board and implement them at training to help secure a victory in their next game away against Inishowen.
Man of the Match went to Jamie Ball at scrum who kept the students heading in the right direction.