ON Saturday 7th January the ‘David Allingham Forklift Safety Training’ sponsored Rainey ES Medallion travelled to Bangor Grammar School to play in the 2nd round of the Northern Bank Medallion Shield.
Everyone associated with the squad knew this would be a difficult game, especially being away from home. After good preparation, the team started the game strongly. They put the home team under pressure and forced a penalty which Mark Rooney kicked to give Rainey a 3-0 lead.
Rainey continued to play attractive rugby, with Bangor finding it difficult to get out of their own half. Centres Rory and Andrew Nicholl were making life difficult for the Bangor defence by making incisive breaks.
It was after one of these breaks that outhalf Mark Rooney found winger Eoghan Bradley, who out paced his opponent to score a try. The conversion was missed to give Rainey an 8-0 lead.
This score seemed to spark the home side into life. A period of play which they dominated they kicked a penalty to reduce the score to 8-3.
Rainey now had to defend for a period and did so really well. Forwards Callum Gilfillan, Timmy Shields and Jack Donaghy made some very important tackles to keep Bangor out.
However, the pressure eventually told and Bangor scored a converted try to give them a 10-8 lead. With Rainey now chasing the game, the second half saw Rainey well and truly on top. Mark Allingham and Conor Stobo made great yards around the fringes.
Rainey kept pressing the Bangor line but just could not get the crucial score. The back row of Andrew Conway, Neil Morton and Calvin Smyth were totally out playing their opponents.
A number of occasions Andrew and Calvin both went close to scoring. On the rare instance that Bangor broke out of defence Callum Bloomer was solid at full back. At scrum half, Scott Campbell was dictating the play and keeping his team on the front foot. But the winning score still eluded them. With a few minutes left on the clock after good work from Anton Lupari, Thomas Carleton made a break and Bangor were caught offside. Mark Rooney coolly stood up and kicked the penalty to give Rainey a 11-10 lead.
With minutes remaining, Rainey played down the clock to give them a memorable and thoroughly deserved victory. Thanks to all the coaches and the large travelling support.
Saturdays other school fixtures were against Ballyclare HS. The ‘P Keenan Road Surfacing’ sponsored 1st XV hosted a very strongly fancied Ballyclare side. This proved to be a very tough game for the local boys and they finished on the wrong end of a 37-0 score line.
The 2nd XV lost 35 -19 with tries from Odhran McCloy, Gavin Pollock and Jonnie Lees. Gavin Pollock also kicked two conversions. The 3rd XV lost 25-5 with a try from Gavin Muldoon.
The U14s and U13s travelled to Ballyclare. An U14 team missing many regulars lost 32-0. The U13A lost 27-10 with tries from Mark Mulholland and Marcus Kelso. The U13B won 29-5 with two tries by James Parke and one try by Joshua Henry and Adam Thornton.
This week sees The ‘P Keenan Road Surfacing’ sponsored Rainey Endowed School 1st XV enter the Northern Bank Schools Cup. On Saturday 14th January they host Carrickfergus Grammar School in the 2nd round. The game kicks off at 10.30am and the squad would appreciate all support.
The Medallion, Under 14 and Under 13 teams are at home to Grosvenor GS with 9.45am kick offs.