AIL rugby: Eighth win in a row for promotion chasing Highfield

Cork club were too strong for City of Armagh in this Division 1B clash at Woodleigh Park
AIL rugby: Eighth win in a row for promotion chasing Highfield

Highfield's Sam Burns racing for the line to score a try against Naas in the All Ireland League Division 1B game at Woodleigh Park. Picture: Denis Minihane.

Highfield 21

City of Armagh 10

HIGHFIELD claimed their eighth successive win in Division 1B of the Energia All Ireland League against City of Armagh at Woodleigh Park.

With no automatic promotion in the AIL because of Covid, the aim is to finish in the top four and win the play-offs to get promoted. Highfield’s lead at the top is three points and there is a 13-point gap to fourth place City of Armagh.

The visitors dominated territorially for long periods and especially in the opening 20 minutes but were unable to convert their chances into scores, opting for the touchline from kickable penalty kicks.

Highfield were more clinical in their finishing.

Highfield’s Ben Murphy was yellow-carded in the 13th minute and can consider himself very lucky not to have been shown a second yellow for a dangerous tackle just before half time.

Highfield hit the front on 26 minutes. Following a line out in the Armagh 22 which Dave O’Connell won, the Highfield pack mauled to the line and after a few pick and goes, Travis Coomey barged over near the posts and James Taylor converted.

Five minutes before the interval Chris Bannon found a gap in the Armagh defence, in the middle of the park and raced away to score Highfield’s second try and Taylor converted, to give the home side a 14-0 interval lead.

Kyle Faloon kicked a penalty in the opening minute of the second half to open Armagh’s account.

Both sides were guilty of handling errors as the conditions deteriorated but Highfield were dominant out of touch, where both O’Connell and Fintan O’Sullivan excelled, and Ronán O’Sullivan and Miah Cronin did trojan work around the pitch. Four minutes from time Sam Burns scored Highfield’s third try with Taylor adding the extras. A try and conversion by Faloon completed the scoring in added time.

Scorers for Highfield: T Coomey, C Bannon, S Burns tries, J Taylor 3 cons.

City of Armagh: K Faloon try, con, pen.

HIGHFIELD: S O’Riordan; L Kingston; B Murphy, M Dorgan, P Stack; J Taylor, C Bannon (capt); J Rochford, T Coomey, I McCarthy; D O’Connell, F O’Sullivan; J Garrett, R O’Sullivan, M Cronin.

Subs: R Murphy, D Fitzpatrick, M Fitzgibbon, C Gallagher, D O’Sullivan, S Burns.

ARMAGH: K Faloon; A Willis. S O’Brien, E Crummie, T McNiece; H Boyd, G Treanor; P Lamb, J Treanor, P Mullen; J McKinley, J Glasgow; N Simpson, R Morton, N Faloon.

Subs: J Morton, P Fletcher, J Crummie, J Hanna, A Johnston, R Taylor.

Referee: S Douglas (IRFU).

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