Old Boys hold off Nenagh to win AIL opener at Hatrick Park

Rainey Old Boys 22

Nenagh Ormond 16

TWO long range penalties from full-back Mark O’Connor helped Rainey Old Boys over the line and open their AIL campaign with a much sought after victory, but a dogged Nenagh Ormond side threatened to spoil their day.

It looked good for Rainey when they led 13 - 0 after 20 minutes at Hatrick Park,but in the end theywere happy to hold on for a 22-16 win.

Rainey started well with their pack gaining an early edge in the tight and O’Connor put them in front with an eighth minute penalty.Nenagh missed a chance to draw level, but were encouraged as Rainey’s lack of composure twice put them in trouble.

Scrum-half McCluggage kept Rainey on the front foot with some well-directed probing kicks and O’Connor struck again after pulling an earlier attempt just wide. Two minutes later the home crowd were cheering a brilliant try.

From deep in their own half,Rainey moved it wide with a lovely long pass for left-wing Clarke to find O’Connor,loop around the outside and race down the line for a great score which O’Connor converted.

Nenagh’s comeback started with a silly penalty conceded in the lineout after Mc Cluggage had put a kick straight into touch.Late in the half, some controlled forward play enabled Rainey to put width on the ball and bring it back infield for big second-row Barker and his support to drive on towards the posts and win a penalty which O’Connor kicked. But there was still time for out-half Fogarty to make it 16-6 with the last kick of the half.

Some good work was undone by Rainey’s tendency to throw the ball away at times and they conceded a soft try when O’Connor opted to go italone on the counterwith support outside him and was dispossessed.

Seconds later Fogarty was touching down at the posts and it became a different ball game.Replacement No. 8 Shiels, returning from hamstring problems,soon made his presence felt, but Nenagh’s fringe defence remained solid.

Rainey had chances to put the ball behind the opposition,but their tactical kicking was not accurate enough on the day,while it must be said that the bounce did them no favours on occasions. Fogarty kicked a close range penalty, but O’Connor restored Rainey’s lead with a great kick.

Nenagh looked menacing and it took crunching tackle from Shiels to halt a promising attack.Rainey were becoming more anxious as two Nenagh penalties sailed wide and when Shiels broke into the visitors’ 22’ a penalty decision stopped them in their tracks.

Another super kick from O’Connor helped Rainey breathe a little more easily,but Nenagh kept plugging away and Harbinson twice forced turnovers to the relief of the home crowd.

Rainey captain O’Kane was yellow carded for pulling down a maul as his side exerted pressure in the dying minutes.Centre Mc Murray was guilty of holding on too long with support on the outside and a good chance was lost.Nenagh had to take chances and six minutes into time added they had the home defence scrambling across to prevent a breakaway score.

TEAM: M.O’Connor,A.Campbell,D.Mc Murray,M.Pyper,A.Clarke,G.Martin,A.Mc Cluggage,S.Rutledge,S.Sufferin,N.O’Kane,P.Stewart,T.Barker,A.Harbinson,D.Dawson,C.O’Neill.

REPLACEMENTS : M.Shiels ( Dawson 45 ) P.Boyle ( Stewart 58 ) N.Amos ( Rutledge 68 ) S.Mc Dowell ( Sufferin 68 ) M.Mc Clelland ( Campbell 72 )

Other results: Clonakilty 13-3 Armagh; Connemara 6-24 Boyne; Instonians 22 - 20 Skerries; Barnhall 19-22 Naas; Sligo 12-27 Navan; Sunday’s Well 33-28 Thomond; Suttonians 21-12 Ards.

In the Junior Cup Rainey O.B. seconds drew the short straw when they were paired with Portadown in the first round.

At Chambers Park, the Qualifying 1 leaders were simply too powerful for a useful looking young Rainey side and swept to a 53-0 victory.

While Portadown pursue their aim of regaining senior status,Rainey can look ahead to a more friendly looking fixture list.

Rainey OB thirds 31

Dromore seconds 23

It was the proverbial game or two halves at Hatrick Park where Rainey O.B. thirds defeated Dromore seconds by 31-23 after trailing 18-0 at half-time.

Having gone through the motions in the opening half, they sprang into life,got the bit beteen their teeth and just did enough to snatch the points.

With the forwards and backs combining well,they camped in Dromore territory and Mc Bride got them off the mark following good work by Irvine nd McIvor.

The Patterson brothers both managed to cross the whitewash and McBride made sure of victory with the final try which was created by McCann and Irvine. Walker kicked the points.

Armagh fourths 7

Rainey OB fourths 32

Rainey O.B. fourths had a strong side available for the trip to the Palace Grounds where they beat Armagh fourths by 32-7.

They took some time to settle and trailed 7-6 at the break, but a sprightly looking backline clicked into action in the second half.

There was not much between them until Rainey’s scrummage dominance really started to take its toll on the opposition in the last quarter.

Stephen Fields’ pace and the sure handling behind the scrum had Armagh struggling and tries from scrum-half Devlin 2, centre McBride and wing McAlynn brought them a welcome two points.

RESULTS - 29 Sept.

AIL Division 2B RAINEY O.B. 22 - 16 NENAGH ORMOND

Junior Cup PORTADOWN 53 - 0 RAINEY O.B. 2

Junior 3 RAINEY O.B.3 31 - 23 DROMORE 2

Minor: SOUTH ARMAGH 4 7 - 32 RAINEY O.B. 4

FIXTURES - Sat.6 Oct.

1st XV v ARDS away AIL 2.30 p.m.

2nd XV v QUEEN’S 2 away

3rd XV v QUEEN’S 3 home

4th XV v OMAGH 4 home

200 club - Winners are Stephen Fields, Moneymore and Jackie Rankin, Limavady.

SIX NATIONS dates :

Sat 2 Feb WALES away 13.30

Sun 10 Feb ENGLAND home 15.00

Sun 24 Feb SCOTLAND awa 14.00

Sat 9 March FRANCE home 17.00

Sat 16 March away 15.30

DIVISION 2 B - Oct.5-6

Skerries v Suttonians

Armagh v Sunday’s Well

Boyne v Sligo

Navan v Instonians

Naas v Connemara

Nenagh Ormond v Clonakilty

Thomond v Barnhall