RAINEY Endowed School hosted Carrickfergus Grammar School in front of a boisterous home crowd in Magherafelt, last Saturday.
Rainey got off to the perfect start when the Carrickfergus defence experienced difficulties in dealing with a Rainey box kick. The ball was dropped and then hacked through by the Rainey attack and eventually touched down by John Stewart for the first try of the game.
Martin Connolly added the conversion to put Rainey into a 7-0 lead. The Rainey attack continued to pressurise the Carrickfergus defence with Arran Murphy taking responsibility for putting his team into good attacking positions.
The Rainey backs launched an attack which ended with a Chris Moffett try on the left wing. Martin Connolly was successful with his conversion kick to put his team into a 14-0 lead.
Rainey were now playing with a great deal of confidence and attacked at every opportunity. Jamie Noble, Ryan Brown and Martin Connolly were asking questions of the Carrickfergus defence and it was only a matter of time before the home team touched down for the third time.
Jamie Noble was awarded the try which was not converted. Now leading by 19-0 Rainey had to work hard in defence as Carrickfergus displayed great resilience and took play deep into Rainey territory. The visitors were rewarded with a penalty which Andrew Fulton converted to leave the scoreboard reading 19-3 at half-time.
The start of the second half saw the Rainey on the attack. Rainey captain, Thomas Booth, and his backrow colleagues, Michael Dawson and Jonathan Lees, were causing all sorts of problems for Carrickfergus.
They were instrumental in producing quick ruck ball for their backs and it was the Rainey scrum half, Oisin Quinn, who took advantage.
He scampered in for a try which Martin Connolly converted to increase the Rainey lead to 26-3. Martin proceeded to add two more penalties to increase that lead to 32-3.
Carrickfergus worked really hard to prevent any more Rainey scores and lost the impressive Mattie Stewart to injury as he was defending his line.
However, there was little they could do to prevent the last score of the game when Oisin Quinn took advantage of a great break from Arran Murphy to touch down for his second try of the game.
Martin Connolly was successful with the conversion kick to see his team safely through this Northern Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup Round 2 game with a 39-3 win.
Rainey Endowed will now face another tough test in round two of the Schools Cup. Belfast side BRA travel to Magherafelt in what promises to be another enthralling encounter for the local lads. This tie will take place on Saturday 28th January.