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Fox has his kicking boots on as City of Armagh retain Senior Cup with win over Ballymena

City of Armagh Rugby team celebrate after winning the Ulster Senior Cup final at Ravenhill after defeating Ballymena. Pic by Peter Morrison
City of Armagh Rugby team celebrate after winning the Ulster Senior Cup final at Ravenhill after defeating Ballymena. Pic by Peter Morrison
Adam McKendry

By Adam McKendry

City of Armagh made it back-to-back Ulster Senior Cup wins after they defeated Ballymena 9-7 at Kingspan Stadium.

In a rematch of last year's final, once again it was Armagh who triumphed, this time thanks to three penalties from the boot of fly-half Cormac Fox.

Ballymena had led through a late first-half try from winger Jonny McMullan in a wind-assisted first half, but the Armagh boys would battle back in the second to emerge victorious.

Indeed, it was the defending champions who would lead early when Fox knocked over his first penalty of the game, while Tim Small missed a chance to level it soon after.

The Braidmen were nearly over the line when their pack drove towards the whitewash from a maul, however Neil Faloon got in well to win a turnover penalty to clear.

But Ballymena did lead at the break thanks to McMullan, who was sent over by scrum-half Michael Stronge, with Small adding a fantastic conversion.

Small had a chance to extend the lead just after the restart, only his penalty went just wide, while at the other end Fox made no mistake with a 56th-minute kick of his own to cut the gap to one.

And after a series of dominant scrums near the Ballymena line, Fox kicked a further penalty to put Armagh back in front with just nine minutes to go, a position they would never relinquish.

That left game-winner Fox to kick the ball off the pitch once the clock went dead to put the seal on a big win that sees Armagh successfully defend the title they won for the first time last season.

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