Portadown College 8
Rainey Endowed 22
LAST Saturday the ‘P Keenan Road Surfacing’ sponsored Rainey ES travelled to Portadown to take on the College.
This was traditionally a difficult game for the Rainey squad so they knew they had to be at their best.
There was also an added incentive to the game as both schools were playing for the ‘Vincent Doyle Memorial Cup’.
In beautiful conditions Rainey came out of the blocks quickly and put the home side under some early pressure but Portadown’s defence held firm.
Rainey created some excellent chances and Matthew McCready made an encouraging break but was stopped short. The visitors also went very close through centre John Stewart and winger Odhran McCloy but the Portadown tackling was sound.
Left wing Gavin Pollock was displaying promise when going forward. As the game settled down Portadown began to show signs of promise. They launched their own attacks and from one of these they were awarded a penalty which their out half converted to give them a 3-0 lead.
Portadown continued to attack and this seemed to unsettle the visitors. The home side then got the opening try of the game when their centre scored in the corner to make it 8-0.
Rainey continued to struggle to find any form and made too many basic errors to trouble the home side.
The half time whistle went with Portadown leading 8-0.
Rainey took the half time break too regroup and introduced Jamie Nobles and Jonathan Lees. This seemed to make an immediate effect as straight from the kick off Rainey went on the attack and got an early try.
Jamie Noble fielded a kick and was supported by Eunan Shaw, who fed out half Kieran Lynch who showed an excellent turn of pace to touch down. Arran Murphy converted to make it 8-7.
A transformed Rainey side now dominated both field position and possession. Super work up front by forwards Jonathan Kyle and Michael Nevin put them in promising attacking positions.
Another fine break by Lynch caused Portadown to infringe and Murphy converted the penalty to give Rainey a 8-10 lead.
Portadown were struggling to get out of their own 22 and Rainey continued to attack at every opportunity although some basic mistakes prevented them from adding to their lead.
Full back Matthew Stewart then worked his way in behind the home defence were he found Mark Kavanagh in support. He made good ground before feeding Captain Michael Dawson who creashed over to extend the lead to 15-8.
Portadown showed that they were not beaten when their out half broke from his own half beating a number of defenders before being dragged down by a try saving tackle by Odhran McCloy.
The Rainey pack now dominated many of the exchanges which gave scrum half Oisin Quinn lots of time to explot the home defence. Hooker Sam Hawe started a great move deep in the home defence. He was supported by Lees who made a thundering run through many Portadown tackles. When he was stopped second row Diarmuid Devlin was on hand but just failed to score. Many of the Magherafelt boys were now making in roads in the home defence.
When centre Murphy found a gap, Dawson was in close support. He then made a scoring pass to Quinn who touched down under the posts. Murphy added the conversion to make the score 8-22.
With time running out Rainey searched for a fourth score but the final whistle sounded with Rainey winning 8-22 and regaining the ‘Vincent Doyle Memorial Cup’.
This has been a terrific start to the season for the Rainey squad. Not only have they won two cups this season but they also remain unbeaten after five games. Tribute must be played to all the players who have worked very hard on the training pitch.
Unfortunately the 2nd XV lost their unbeaten record at Portadown when they went down 24-10. Due to an early kick off they started with minimal preparation and found themselves scores down early in the game.
They found it difficult to come back from this eventually losing, although their second half performance was encouraging. The try scorers were Andrew Nicholl and Stephen Fullerton.
The ‘Mid Ulster Flooring’ sponsored Medallion made it three wins in a row with an excellent win also away to Portadown College.
They won 24-17 with two tries from Anton Lupari and one from Cameron Stewart and Simon Andrews. Matthew Mulholland kicked two conversions. At home the U14s and U13s played Clounagh JHS.
The U14s recorded a very impressive 57-0 win. The try scorers were Jonathan Hanna (2), James Cunningham (2), Matthew Porter (2), Adam Currie and Mark Mulholland. Mark also kicked 6 conversions.
The U13s were very unlucky to be denied victory with the last play of the game, losing 20-17. The try scorers were Stephen Greer, Martin Cudden and Matthew Smtyh. Matthew also kicked a conversion.
This Saturday’s fixtures are against Larne GS and Campbell College. The Medallion, U14s and U13s are away to Larne GS.
The 1st XV, 2nd XV and 3rd XV are at home. The 1st and 2nd XVs take on Larne GS, while the 3rd XV play Campbell College. The kick offs are at 10.30am. all support is welcome.