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Armagh revel in the rain to set up Dungannon cracker in Cup

By Ronnie Ingram

Armagh repeated their recent win over Ballymena with a First Trust Cup 13-7 success at Eaton Park to earn a second round home tie against Dungannon on October 15.

It was closely fought in the third quarter and the home team had late chances to snatch victory although success would not have been a fair indication of the play.

Ballymena, following their big victory over Derry last week, had hoped to continue their winning run but as well as Ulster absentees there were 12 players missing because of injury and unavailability.

That should take nothing away from Armagh's efforts who adapted better to the wet and difficult conditions.

They showed a lot of determination from the start and were rewarded after 10 minutes when Stephen Morton crashed over for Ryan Purvis to add the points. Purvis then kicked a penalty and after half an hour Armagh deserved to more than 10 points in front.

But before the interval a home drive from a lineout resulted in replacement Chris Allen being driven over for Glen Bailey to convert.

Ballymena were unable to continue where they left off and Purvis kicked an early penalty to increase Armagh's advantage to six points. and the stout Armagh defence held out in the continuous rain.

In the other ties, Rainey repeated last week's league victory at Queen's 20-18 and Belfast Harlequins returned to winning ways by eliminating City of Derry 34-10.

Ulster U19s started their inter-provincial challenge positively when a late James Hume try gave them a deserved 22-15 win against Leinster at Osborne Park, but Ulster Schools lost for the second successive week, 10-5 at Leinster..

First Trust Senior Cup second round daw: Ballynahinch v Rainey, Banbridge v Malone, Bangor v Belfast Harlequins, Armagh v Dungannon (ties to be played October 15).

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