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Two close for comfort for Armagh and Bann


Bonus point: Peter Cromie scored Banbridge’s fourth try
Bonus point: Peter Cromie scored Banbridge’s fourth try

By Michael Sadlier

All three games involving Ulster's representatives across 1A and 1B proved to be tense affairs and, unusually, each one was decided by a margin of just two points.

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The 1B derby saw City of Armagh end their three-game losing run by shading affairs 22-20 against Malone at the Palace Grounds, while Banbridge secured their first away win of the season when coming from behind to defeat bottom side Navan 24-22.

In 1A, Ballynahinch's game with Young Munster ended 26-24 at Ballymacarn Park though with the struggling home side on the wrong end of it.

At Armagh, it had all started so well for Malone after tries from centre Stewart Moore and back-rower Azur Allison, along with two Jack Milligan conversions, had put them 14-5 in front.

But when Paul Mullan scored Armagh's second try, after Josh McKinley's opening effort, Malone's lead was cut to just four points at the break.

Josh Morton's score, like Armagh's earlier efforts unconverted, nudged them in front before two Milligan penalties made it 20-15 to the Belfast side.

In the closing minutes Armagh were awarded a penalty try which was enough for the bonus point win to bring them up three places in the table to fifth.

Banbridge made it back-to-back wins after trailing 15-0 at lowly Navan.

Max Lyttle began Bann's comeback with a try converted by Bruce Houston and then two unconverted scores from Michael Cromie saw Mark McDowell's squad lead 17-15 at the break.

But Navan grabbed the lead again until five minutes from the end when hooker Peter Cromie touched down to tie the scores and bring his side a try bonus.

Houston's conversion gave Bann the five points and elevated themselves two spots to fifth.

Ballynahinch are still bottom of 1A after their sixth defeat in eight outings.

This one, though, was hard to take as Hinch had led 24-7 at half-time.

But, Hinch failed to score again as the visitors nailed 19 points to take and hold the lead.

Heart-break for Hinch, who also missed a chance to win it late on, but they did collect two points from a losing bonus and their four tries, two coming from Ross Adair and one each via Zack McCall and Callum Irvine.

1A: Ballynahinch 24 Young Munster 26, Cork Contitution 53 UCD 10, Dublin Univ. 32 Clontarf 42, Garryowen 25 UCC 10, Lansdowne 47 Terenure College 17

1B: Navan 22 Banbridge 24, City of Armagh 22 Malone 20, Shannon 24 St Mary's College 11, Old Wesley 25 Highfield 22, Old Belvedere 12 Naas 19.

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