NUTTY KRUST UNDER 18 FLOODLIT TOURNAMENT
Armagh 41, Dungannon 26
Armagh lifted the Nutty Krust Floodlit Cup for only the second time in the competition’s history with a deserved win over neighbours Dungannon.
On a perfect night for running rugby, both teams served up an enthusiastic game which had 11 tries, the Orchard County side scoring seven of those.
Having led 29-12 at the break, Armagh pushed their case strongly early in the second half and were 41-12 to the good.
But Dungannon went on to dominate the final quarter and kept themselves in the hunt with two tries, but a comeback was never on the cards.
Armagh’s backline did the damage on the night with an impressive sweep attack with half backs Nathan Rodgers and Cormac Fox standing out.
For Dungannon, backrow forward Nico Aholelei stood out alongside Jonah Man’u and outhalf Conor McGeough.
Pre-final favourites Armagh almost scored in the opening seconds but for a fine try saving tackle from Dungannon winger Luke Roche.
The Tyrone side were then halted at the other end before Armagh’s backs showed their worth with a sweeping move which ended with winger Michael Savage crossing. Fox added the extras for a 7-0 lead.
Dungannon hit back after four minutes with a try through Aholelei, but McGeough failed with the conversation.
Armagh them enjoyed a purple patch where their backline dominated.
However it was backrow forward Niall McKee who benefitted on 13 minutes when he crossed for a try and three minutes later winger Savage crossed again, both tries going unconverted.
Dungannon came back again with a try through centre Carl Bell, converted by McGeough.
Armagh gave themselves a strong advantage by the interval with tries through fullback Shea O’Brien and winger Chris Jennings.
Fox converted the latter for a 29-12 lead.
John Mallon extended the Armagh lead two minutes into the second half before O’Brien crossed for a second try and Fox converted to end the game as a contest.
Dungannon did not let their heads go down and rallied to score two tries of their own through Aholelei and Man’u with two conversions from McGeough and although they pressed further the Armagh defence held to take a well earned victory.