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Coach Dougherty glad to see Armagh weather the storm against Larne Grammar

Larne Grammar 3 - RS Armagh 10

Published 11/01/2016

Thumps up: Try-scorers Jack Chapman and Archie McAlpine
Thumps up: Try-scorers Jack Chapman and Archie McAlpine

The weather deteriorated quickly during Royal School Armagh's 10-3 triumph over Larne Grammar School and some players were affected by the icy conditions at the Shore Road, Jordanstown. Both teams had to adapt and it was Armagh who coped better to progress.

Larne centre John Hyndman nailed a penalty after two minutes before a try was disallowed. Hyndman had broken away to go under the posts but the referee was not up with the play, so Larne were only three points ahead at the interval instead of a potential 10.

As the game progressed, there were fewer Armagh players affected by the temperature and coach David Dougherty used his replacements more effectively. The standard of rugby was deteriorating along with the weather and it was a matter of which team could deal better with the testing conditions.

In the second period, Larne failed to deal with the restart and Armagh consequently took the chance to score their first try.

Jack Chapman crashed over but the tie resorted to a lot of kicking and keeping the play tight. After an hour the visitors made sure of victory when, following a number of pick ups, Archie McAlpine barged over.

Larne coach Jonny Lowe felt his team could have won and they could take a lot from their efforts.

"I thought centre Matthew McGarel and out-half BJ McFall adapted well but it was a bit of a lottery at times," he said.

"There were too many errors due to the freezing weather but full credit to Armagh."

Armagh's Dougherty believes that he has never come across weather just as bad as on Saturday.

"We had to dig deep and just get on with it and in the second-half it turned into mainly a kicking game," he said.

"It was so bad that some players could hardly stand. I was satisfied with our display but there is still a lot of work needed before we face Rainey in the next round."

Belfast Telegraph

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