Sports

History makers!

Thursday, 6 April 2017

History makers! thumbnailThe victorious City of Armagh 1st XV who etched their names in the club's history books at the weekend after collecting their first ever Ulster Senior League title.

THE City of Armagh 1st XV class of 2017 etched their names in the club's history books at the weekend as they secured their first ever Ulster Senior League title.

Armagh travelled to Ballymena knowing that a bonus points victory would give them their first ever senior success in Ulster and it was fittin that it was a try from captain Ali Birch that saw the Palace Grounds outfit claim their crucial fourth try of the afternoon.

The home side mounted a strong fightback in the second half, but Armagh held on with 18 year-old out-half Cormac Fox keeping the scoreboard ticking over and helping Armagh to record a fantastic 34-12 win.

1st XV coach Alex McCloy said it was a fantastic achievement for the club and for the players.

“We always have aspirations of doing well in the Ulster Senior Cup and the league at the start of every season.

“Unfortunately we exited the cup after fielding an ineligible player, but we said that the Ulster Premiership has to be our bread and butter.

"It is a competition that has been dominated by the likes of Ballynahinch and Ballymena in recent years.

“It was fantastic to get over the line on Saturday, especially given we lost our first game back in August against Banbridge.

“We've have had bonus point wins in all of our other games and the last 30 minutes on Saturday were as good as we have played this season, both in defence and attack.

“We showed real mental strength to get over the line and lift the trophy."

With just two games left in the All-Ireland League season, the Palace Ground side sit in second place, one point behind Greystones and McCloy said his side are focused on gaining promotion.

“Whether it is through winning the league or going up through the play-off, we are determined to get promoted.

“The win on Saturday has given us a bit of momentum again and we have one away game this Saturday at City of Derry and then we go to Bective Rangers.

“We are one point behind Greystones so we can only play our own game and hope that they don't pick up maximum points over the next two weekends."

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