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Ruthless Armagh romp to Crawford Cup glory

By Ciaran Donaghy

Armagh lifted the Crawford Cup in empathic style as they outscored Coleraine by four tries to one in the spring sunshine at Ravenhill.

Armagh made the prefect start with a try on three minutes from winger Alexis Luneau.

From quick ruck ball out half Simon Cuttle fed centre Johnny Allen and he put Luneau clear to go over in the corner.

Full back Matthew Steenson missed the conversion but was on target with a penalty on six minutes to extend Armagh’s lead.

Coleraine started to get a foothold in the game and had a try disallowed when No 8 Neil Montgomery powered over but there was a knock on earlier in the move.

The Bannsiders finally turned their pressure into points with a 27th minute penalty from scrum half Michael Griffith after Armagh were caught offside in midfield.

Armagh got their second try in first half injury time.

Centre Michael Hooks had gone on a mazy run from his own half but was bungled into touch inside the Coleraine 22.

Benny Lamb intercepted the Coleraine throw and dived over with Steenson converting to give Armagh a 15-3 lead at the interval.

Steenson missed an early opportunity to put points on the board after the restart when his penalty came back of the upright.

Armagh got their third try on 48 minutes as hooker Andrew Smyth crashed over from close range.

The back row carried the ball through a number of phases to the Coleraine line before Smyth powered over and Steenson converted.

Coleraine had another sustained period of pressure in Armagh’s 22 but despite a series of scrums they couldn’t force a score.

Armagh added a fourth try on 64 minutes from winger Robbie Faloon.

They kicked a penalty to touch, from the resulting line out they moved the ball through the hands before Luneau put in a perfectly weighted grubber kick and Faloon pounced for the try with Steenson adding the conversion.

Armagh had flanker Gareth McNiece yellow carded on 73 minutes for an infringement at the ruck but Coleraine couldn’t do anything from the resulting penalty.

The Bannsiders did make their numerical advantage count with a late consolation from winger John Henderson.

Coleraine turned ball over at a ruck and Griffith released Henderson who had enough speed to go over from half way with the scrum half converting.

Armagh: M Steenson, R Faloon, J Allen, M Hooks, A Luneau, S Cuttle, F Cuttle, S Carlise, A Smyth, R Morton, W Martin, W Hill, D Martin, G McNiece B Lamb.

Coleraine: P Shields, B Cochrane, T Van Wyk, S Patterson, J Henderson, C Gowland, M Griffith, A Gaston, R Smith, A Stirling, J Carey, Graham Neely, A Neely, Greg Neely, N Montgomery.

Referee: S Gaffikin.

Belfast Telegraph


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