Armagh had a last gasp victory in the recent final of the IIBA Plate competition.
The men’s zone team travelled to Loughbrickland where they were entertained by West Down.
Armagh were probably odds on favourites entering this game, having comfortably defeated their neighbours in an earlier charity friendly at the beginning of the season. Nonetheless West Down had other ideas.
On Mat 1 Paul Moffett, Scott Jess, Gary Culbert and Alan Roberts came up against Alan Johnston and his West Down outfit. Singles and doubles where exchanged in the early part of this game as both sides felt their way into the final.
The Armagh rink then stepped on the gas in the fifth end and a count of four pushed them into the lead. Another count of three in the seventh end ensured the Armagh foursome ran out comfortable 11-6 winners in this encounter.
On Mat 2 Chris Trainor, (Tullysaren) Paul Whittle, Terry Mullholland and Mark Sproule found it tough going against the West Down rink skipped by current SMPT World No 1 Cecil Dillon. Mark and got off to the worst possible start dropping a count of 5 in the 1st end. Credit must go to the Armagh rink though as they steadied the ship, but unfortunately another count of 4 shots were gained by the West Down rink in the last end, which left the Armagh rink trailing 17-6 at the finish.
On Mat 3 Jim Hendren, Chris Mullholland, Jal Richardson and Joe Beattie came up against a West Down rink skipped by Laim Murray. Both sides started this game off tentatively and at the half way stage nothing could split the two. The Armagh rink stepped it up a notch in the second half of the game and consecutive counts of 3,1,1 pushed them into a 10-5 lead. They were able to hold the lead in the remaining two ends to run out 10-7 victors.
At the halfway stage the Orchard men trailed by a narrow three shots, which in bowling terms was nothing. (Armagh 27 – 30 West Down)
On Mat 4 Patrick Garvey, Stevie McCall, David Beattie and Andrew Leckey came up against the dangerous Eddie Campbell and his outfit. This was the closest game of the day. Only one shot an end was gained by either side until the 10th and final end of the game.
On Mat 5 Armagh’s Chris Trainor, (St Ants) Ray Hunter, Kieran Trainor and Aidan Corrigan ran out comfortable 14–9 winners.
On Mat 6 Pat Garvey, Sean Breen, Danny McDonald and Marty Trainor played the West Down rink skipped by Irish International Jonny Wilson. Jonny was in scintillating form and produced an array of shots during this encounter. At the half way stage the Armagh rink trailed by only one shot, however counts of 2,3,2 in the remaining few ends eased Jonny and his rink into a 12–8 victory. This left Armagh trailing by just one shot playing their final end. The Armagh skip kept his composure and drew a second shot (he was already lying 1) with his first bowl. West Down’s Eddie Campbell had only one bowl to save the match and he narrowly missed.
This sent the Armagh team into jubilant celebrations and ensured the trophy was coming home .
Final Score Armagh 56 West Down 55