Belfast Telegraph

Friday 26 December 2014

Junior rugby: Armagh back on track

Armagh got their season back on track with a hard fought 16-14 win over Cooke at the Palace Grounds.

A defeat for Colin Steenson's men would have ended their hopes of retaining the title but the narrow victory put a dent in Cooke's promotion hopes.

The lighter home pack controlled the set pieces early on but had to wait until the 20th minute to open the scoring when Johnny Steenson landed a penalty.

Steenson added a second penalty as the home side continued to adapt better in the poor weather conditions.

Cooke scored a converted try against the run of play to take a 7-6 lead at the interval.

The Belfast side's lead was short lived as right winger Johhny Allen went in for a converted try at the start of the second half.

Steenson added another penalty before a late Cooke converted try reduced the deficit to two points.

Portadown remain top of the table with their eighth win from 10 outings.

Ulster European Cup winner Sheldon Coulter scored one of the six tries in the 42-0 victory at Limavady.

It was Coulter's first appearance of the season following injury. Captain Diarmaid O'Kane, Peter Spence, David Whitten, Ajay Subherwal and prop Mark Henderson added the other tries with out half Ruki Tipuna converting all the scores.

Portadown travel to Armagh on Saturday in the game of the day.

Clogher Valley are second in the table but they left it late to win 12-11 at Omagh.

Captain Andy Breen went over in the corner deep in stoppage time to leave Valley four points behind Portadown at the top of the table.

Omagh led 6-0 at the break with two penalties and extended their lead after the restart with an unconverted try.

Valley forced a series of scrums and when the home side collapsed the set piece for a third time the referee awarded a penalty try.

Omagh threw everything into defence but were unable to stop Breen.

Centre Nigel Hall scored two tries as Coleraine eased to a bonus point 29-7 victory over Dromore while Ballymoney won 23-0 at home to Ennskillen.

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