Donaghadee flatten Tom Christie's hopes of one final hurrah
There was no fairytale ending to Armoy ace Tom Christie's playing career as his team lost the Butler Shield final against Donaghadee III 18-10 at Larne on Saturday.
President Tom, who played in Armoy's first ever game 40 years ago, came on for the second half and gave a good account but it was Dee who clinched the trophy that they had previously won in 1998.
The Dee back row of Pete Stevenson, Martin Coulter and Stuart Thompson were conspicuous in the loose and kept turning over ball. Scrum-half Andy Monson put in a tremendous performance when he combined with out-half Gareth Doherty and his penalty put the Down team ahead before one from Craig Nesbitt levelled the score at 3-3 at the interval.
The Dee back row allowed Doherty to kick deep and following a number of drives close to the line the first try ensued. Doherty released Ryan Milligan on an angled run and the centre broke through to touch down for Monson to goal.
Armoy came back but Dee held out. Another penalty followed to make it 13-3 and then with seven minutes left, Doherty slipped through to go in at the corner.
The north Antrim side were rewarded when Gordon McConaghie picked up and dashed in for Barry Kelly to add the points.
Domestic finals season continues with another four trophies up for grabs on Saturday. The Forster Cup final will be contested by Ballymena V and Randalstown II while Larne will do battle with Limavady for the Gordon West Cup. Both games will take place at the Kingspan with tickets available on the gate or at ticketmaster.ie.
Ballymoney III meet Instonians III at Ballyclare in the Forster Plate and Clogher Valley II play Bangor II at Lisburn for the Crawford Plate.