City of Armagh II and Enniskillen battle to take Millar McCall Wylie Junior Cup honours

City of Armagh RFC 2s Captain John Faloon, and Enniskillen RFC Captain Gareth Beatty ahead of Tuesday's Millar McCall Wylie Junior Cup final at Kingspan Stadium
City of Armagh RFC 2s Captain John Faloon, and Enniskillen RFC Captain Gareth Beatty ahead of Tuesday's Millar McCall Wylie Junior Cup final at Kingspan Stadium
Share this article

Armagh will be looking to win the Millar McCall Wylie Junior Cup for a ninth time as they face Enniskillen in Tuesday night’s final at Kingspan Stadium.

The Palace Grounds side last won the trophy in 2009/10 but have never won the competition since becoming a senior club and assistant coach Chris Parker is hoping the 2nds can win it for the first time.

“It’s always nice and it is always a target at the start of the year to get back to Kingspan Stadium and it’s fantastic we’re there but it doesn’t mean much if you don’t come away with silverware,” said Parker.

“We were there with the seconds two years ago and came away with nothing and certainly that night we felt we didn’t do ourselves justice with our performance against a Ballynahinch side that deserved it on the night.

“I think it shows the massive strides the club has made that now as a 2nd XV they are challenging for a trophy that a decade ago it was the aim of the 1st XV to try and get it.

“It would mean an awful lot to the club for the 2nd XV to win the Junior Cup and it would be a really great achievement if we could get that.”

Armagh have been juggling their resources. They are in a Senior Cup semi final and played in the Bateman Cup last four on Saturday as well as their league campaigns.

“It’s been very much managing players and trying to give them a break and time off over Christmas and trying to get them game time and ticking over,” said Parker.

“We decided to use the Dungannon game (Ulster League) to get the 2nd XV a hit out and it worked well, it wasn’t a prefect performance and it got the turkey hit out of them and it has us in a good place going into Tuesday night.”

Enniskillen have reached the final twice losing to Ballymena in 1930 and Cooke in 1987 but having won the Towns’ Cup last year and sitting third in the Rugby Championship Parker knows they will be hard to beat.

“Enniskillen have improved massively over the last few years, they have won the Towns Cup and going well in Qualifying One, they’re going to be a difficult team and they are very much in form.

“They lost recently to Dromore but apart from that they have been picking up wins and it is going to be a big task but the big pitch may suit us and with guys like James and Steven Morton, John Fallon, Stuart Lester they have years of experience playing in the All Ireland League so it’s good to have that.

“Enniskillen try to use their scrum and maul as a weapon and they look after the ball really well when they get it so it’s important we get parity at the set piece and just don’t give them opportunities to get into our 22.”