WITH both squads having now completed their league campaigns, Lurgan Tigers Under 15’s invited their old adversaries Armagh to Pollock Park for a friendly encounter on Saturday.
This turned out to be a well contested match between two evenly balanced teams, the outcome of which remained unpredictable until well into the second half. Thereafter, the Tigers demonstrated a wider repertoire of skills, running out eventual winners by a comfortable 32 points to 12.
The opportunity was taken to shift players around a bit, and to try a variety of moves, some more successful than others. The Tigers’ forwards rucked and charged well, with two tries coming from well judged No 8 pick-ups by Harry Simpson close to the opposition line and another from a determined burst through by hooker Lewis Lawson. Support play was excellent throughout, with Jonny Hunter securing one of his two tries by being close inside winger Cormac Sheehy at the Armagh line. Jonny’s other try came from quick ball out through the backs, and the sixth was secured by Ryan Osborne diving over from a ruck.
Defensively the Tigers tackled with commitment, stifling many Armagh attempts to attack. Armagh failed to make full use of their undoubtedly powerful backs, resorting to the boot far too much – but perhaps the relentless pursuit of their ball carriers by the Tigers had something to do with that.
Nonetheless, Armagh were very much in the game throughout the first half which ended with Tigers leading by 10-5, then took the lead early in the second half with a converted try. Their spirit was up. But this was a fast moving open game and the Tigers’ willingness to throw the ball about at speed proved too much for Armagh as the second half progressed.
Tigers meet Coleraine again in a couple of weeks time, in their first pool match of the Cup competition.
Tigers U15 squad: Michael Boulos, Lewis Lawson, Nathan Dawson, Declan Foster, Harry Woods, Benjamin Greer, Ben McAlister, Ryan Emerson, Victor Mackenzie, Scott Wilson, Jonny Hunter, Adam O’Connor, Max Hamilton, Cormac Sheehy, Ben Jones, Barry McCambridge, Adam Harrison, Harry Simpson, James Patterson, Jamie Hunter, Ryan Osborne, Matthew Turner, William Walker.