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Armagh are just too strong for Ballymena as unbeaten run continues


By Ronnie Ingram

After two rounds of the five to be played in the SONI Ulster Rugby Premiership only two teams are undefeated - Armagh the Division 1 champions who have a maximum 10 points while Queen's in Division 2 have nine.

It was another outstanding performance by Armagh who, after recording that 32-19 win against Ballynahinch a fortnight ago, followed it up with a 38-27 success at Ballymena.

The Eaton Park team are joint second with Banbridge and Malone on six points.

It was a storming first half by the Palace Grounds team who after forfeiting a Brett Herron penalty rallied to run in four tries for a 31-3 interval advantage.

With the forwards winning much more than their share of possession the backs were given ample opportunities to show their paces.

Left wing Robbie Faloon, centre John Faloon and right winger Kyle Faloon along with Tim McNiece all touched down and the accurate Cormac Fox converted them all as well as adding a penalty.

Some ­constructive forward play led to a home try by Adam McBurney but Fox was again on target when Andrew Smyth scored Armagh's fifth.

Matthew Agnew was making his debut on the home team and he showed his strength and determination when he broke through a couple of tackles to crash over for Herron to goal.

Later the out-half added the points to one of the tries from Dean Reynolds and Joe Thompson.

Ballynahinch kept in the title chase with a five pointer against Banbridge 25-19 but the euphoria was dampened by the fact that their captain Johnny Simpson was taken off with a leg injury a week before the start of the All-Ireland League.

Bann went in front with an Adam Ervine try but the home side forced a 12-5 half-time lead when Johnny McPhillips converted a Simpson try before Zac Ward, making his debut scored.

Bann levelled when Rob Lyttle goaled his own try and Adam Doherty later added the points to a late Stephen Irwin score. McPhillips kicked a Hinch penalty while Conor Kelly and David Busby scored their tries.

The other Division 1 results were City of Derry 5 Malone 64, Division 2 Queen's 30 Belfast Harlequins 26, Rainey 29 Omagh 19, Dungannon 43 Bangor 12.

Belfast Telegraph

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