Boyds romped home to convincingly win the Division 2 cup final over a dissapointing Armagh/Down. It was all too easy as Boyds with their former top tier players showed their class. Many of the Boyds team had many a good season in the old Division 1. In recent years Boyds have been in free fall sliding to the bottom tier of Newry Pool.
Armagh/Down have far less experienced players at the top level but have a good mix of youth and seasoned campaigners. Boyds finished the league in 3rd place only 1pt behind runner-up Granvue Hotel. Just a point further back was Armagh/Down.
Armagh/Down had to beat Granvue in the semi-final while Boyds beat a St Moninna side that slaughtered runaway league champions Trainer's Bar from Camlough 8-1.
The final was all set up for a great match between 2 very inconsistent teams.
The classy Kris Fletcher was sent into action 1st and he was bang on form to take the opener against Brendan McCabe. McCabe is a decent player but Fletcher is a cut above and 1-0 Boyds was never in doubt.
Armagh/Down have a young star in Oran Keenan. Unfortunately for him he met a slow meticulous Billy Hunt who took Keenan out of his comfort zone and Hunt doubled the Boyds lead to 2-0.
Shane Durnin sent shockwaves through the pool league when he dumped TJ's A legend Manny Byrne out of this year's singles event. Durnin is a super potter but has been inconsistent this season. He was taking on a useful Paddy Phillips but it was Durnin on form and he dragged Armagh/Down back into it. 2-1.
Young Jamie Fletcher had a good win over Sean Donnan and Boyds were back in the mood again - 3-1.
Caolan Marron was left pretty much having to win his game for Armagh/Down. He was taking on Ray McMahon and was well capable of winning. It just wasn't Armagh/Down's night and Ray McMahon got the breaks to put Boyds on the hill and in a very commanding 4-1 lead.
James Clarke might be used to watching his beloved Man United lifting cups but being 4-1 down and knowing your up next to play Boyds legend Richard Fletcher must give you that sinking feeling. Ritchie Fletcher knew his Boyds were on the backstroke and cruising when he was up to play. Back in the day Fletcher was 1 of the top players. Clarke is a good player but Fletcher is quality and in finals the cream usually rises to the top. Ritchie was too good and it was no surprise when he secured the all important trophy winning 5th frame for his Boyds side and a 5-1 win.
I like to see teams play on after the dust has settled. It shows passion and commitment. Fair play to Armagh/Down and the did manage 2 from the last 3 frames.
John Rodgers beat Martin Bolton to pull it back to 5--2 for Armagh/Down. Things were looking even more respectable when a decent player Willie Andrews pulled it back to 5-3 with a good win over a limited Tommy Colgan.
Jeremy O'Brien made sure Boyds finished on a high to get the party started. Ryan Gray just couldn't put a dampener on the celebrations as O'Brien took the final frame to finish the scoring at 6-3.
It was all back to Boyds for Champagne and prawn sandwiches. Armagh/Down certainly have plenty of good players to look forward to next season with optimism. Boyds always have the squad to do better but are forever underachieving .