ARMAGH 36 BALLYNAHINCH 7
Armagh retained the Nutty Krust Youth Floodlit Cup with a deserved, if slightly flattering victory over Ballynahinch at Chambers Park, Portadown on Wednesday night..
Nutty Krust man of the match centre Sean O’Brien bagged a hat-trick of tries as the Orchard County boys finally put the Hinch to the sword.
The impressive O’Brien, well supported by fellow centre Matthew Rainey, opened the scoring after four minutes when he crossed for his first try.
It was 10-0 when O’Brien and Rainey combined after good work from the pack to send hooker Jordan Parr over. O’Brien landed an impressive touchline conversion and then a penalty for a 15-0 lead after 13 minutes.
Any thoughts of the holders walking away with things were dispelled when the Hinch hit back strongly and their endeavours were rewarded when lock Sam Duncan went in under the posts and scrumhalf Jack Ferris added the extras to leave it 15-7 at the break.
O’Brien went over in the ninth minute of the second half for his second try, adding the extras but Hinch dug in and dominated for lengthy spells, but were unable to break down the Armagh defence.
Two tries in the last two minutes, the first from O’Brien and the second from outhalf Nathan Rodgers - O’Brien converting both - gave the scoreline a lopsided finish.
Brian Irwin, representing the sponsors Irwin’s Bakery presented the trophy to Ryan Morton, while Ulster Rugby players Dave Shanahan and Peter Nelson made presentations to players and officials.
As usual with the Nutty Krust Tournament the players all received a post-match meal which was sponsored by Jim Hewitt Meats, prepared by the staff in “Scrummees” kitchen and organised by the ever present Sid Rowe. All players, as well as their coaches, then received a Nutty Krust loaf on departure.
Armagh will look to achieve the double on Saturday when they meet Rainey in the Ulster U18 Cup final.