Sports

Unbeaten Armagh sitting on cloud nine!

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Unbeaten Armagh sitting on cloud nine! thumbnailScrum-half Harry Doyle drives forward during a recent win over Greystones in the All-Ireland League 2B

PLAYED nine won nine.

That's how City of Armagh's league record in the All-Ireland League 2B reads as the competition takes a short winter break.

The Palace Grounds outfit are the only team yet to experience defeat in the five All-Ireland leagues and with the 2nd XV, 3rd XV, 4th XV, youth section and the ladies' section all thriving in recent months, there are plenty of reasons for optimism heading into 2017 for all involved at the club.

A spokesperson for the club admitted that the coaching team are delighted with how things have gone so far this season.

“The coaching team are delighted, but they have been quick to point out that we are still at the half way stage.

“We haven't won anything yet and teams have been in our position before and collapsed in the second half of the season, so we aren't getting ahead of ourselves."

Last summer Armagh put in the hard yards in pre-season and the addition of a dedicated Strength and Conditioning coach has benefited all of the teams at the club.

“We now have a dedicated coach for Strength and Conditioning and the entire setup is just much more professional than in previous years.

“The players have really bought into what Brian McLaughlin, Alex McCloy and Willie Faloon have set in place and the numbers attending training for all of the teams has been excellent," added a club spokesperson.

Armagh's strong start to the season has created quite a stir across the club rugby scene in Ulster and there is now a real feel good factor around the Palace Grounds.

“The 2nd XV are unbeaten as well this season and the 3rd XV have had a disrupted start to the season but once they get into regular action and get into the cup competitions like the 4th XV then they will really push on.

“It is a great encouragement to see the tremendous support the 1st XV have been getting at home and it is quite an achievement for Armagh to remain unbeaten in the All-Ireland league, considering only a few years ago we were still a junior club," enthused a club spokesperson.

The increasingly popular ladies' section at the club continues to make huge strides on and off the pitch and the club had six representatives in the Ulster U18 team that took part in the in the inaugural Inter-provincial series in the Autumn.

Three of those players, Vicky Irwin, Storm Cobain and Leah McGoldrick were rewarded for their form in the U18 competition with a call up to the Ulster senior squad.

“Having those three girls make the step up to the senior squad, where they will be playing with and against Irish internationals is a major coup for the club.

“The youth section is thriving as well and it is as strong as ever under the leadership of Antonine Finn and Richard Black.

“Our U18s are unbeaten so far this season and the U14 and U16 teams are also having a super season.

“The mini-rugby section is also going very well and we are indebted to the team of volunteers who give up their time for our young players," enthused a club spokesperson.

City of Armagh 1st XV now have a short break over the festive period, but return on New Year's Eve when they will welcome Ballynahinch RFC to the Palace Grounds for an Ulster Senior League tie.

One week later they welcome City of Derry to the Palace Grounds on Saturday, January 7 and on January 14 they travel to Eaton Park to take on Ballymena.

Armagh return to All-Ireland action on Saturday, January 21 as they make the trip to Merrion Road in Dublin to take on rival promotion candidates Wanderers RFC.

However, before all of that players from the 3rd XV and 4th XV will take on an Armagh Exiles XV in a Boxing Day game (2.30pm) at the Palace Grounds and everyone at the club is looking forward to it.

Share

Subscribe to read full newspaper »

Send to a friend

Please complete the following form to inform a friend about this page.

In order to process your information we must ask you to enter the letters in the image into the box:

CAPTCHA Image play audio version Reload Image

* Mandatory field - please complete