For the second week in succession all Rainey ES rugby teams went unbeaten, which is quite an achievement!
Again in beautiful conditions the ’P Keenan Road Surfacing’ 1st XV faced Portadown College, playing for the Vincent Doyle Cup. Rainey started sloppily, giving away a number of unnecessary penalties which Portadown took advantage of.
They kicked two of these penalties to give themselves early points. Kieran Lynch was on target with one penalty for Rainey to give the visitors an early 6-3 lead. Rainey were finding it difficult to get an rhythm and it was not until late in the half that they got their opening try.
After a number of phases in which the forwards drove hard at the line, Mark Allingham and Timmy Andrews made good ground before Anton Lupari crashed over. Kieran Lynch converted to make the score 10-6. This score seemed to settle the home side because shortly after the first try Eunan Shaw made a strong burst, breaking several tackles to touch down. The score was now 15-6.
Portadown however, took advantage of a lapse in the home defences work rate, scoring just before half time.
A much more focussed and determined Rainey side came out in the second half. An intelligent kick from Kieran Lynch lead to a Mark Rooney try. Kieran kicked the conversion to extend the lead to 22-13. A dominant home side scored almost immediately. A clever break by scrum half Scott Campbell got in behind the visiting defence. Andrew Nicholl took a nice pass on a different angle and found Kieran Lynch in support and he had the speed to out run the defenders to the line. He kicked the conversion to make the score 29-13.
The Magherafelt boys were now firmly in control. Connor Brennan did some fine work on the left touchline, finding Cameron Noble in support. Cameron made a nice break and when the ball was recycled Anton Lupari broke clear. He passed to Calvin Smyth who beat a number of defenders before he was hauled down just short. However, he gave a lovely pass to Samuel Hawe who was in support and Samuel powered over the line for another try. Rainey now led 34-13.
Again after impressive work from the forwards, in particular Timmy Shiels who displayed great strength, Rory Nicholl worked himself into space after a good break. Kieran Lynch got the ball in space and threaded a lovely kick through for Andrew Nicholl to chase and dive on for Rainey’s sixth try.
Portadown took advantage of a mistake in mid field running in a consolation try. This closed the gap to 39-20. Rainey, nevertheless, were to have the final say. David McClelland, having another very influential game in the centre began the move with a beautiful break. He found his fellow centre Andrew Brown who transferred the ball to Andrew Conway who made a smart pass to Conal Murphy. From about 30 metres out Conal made a storming run breaking a number of tackles to score under the posts. Kieran kicked the conversion.
This was another very promising result for the Rainey squad and shows that that are progressing along very nicely.
The ‘Quinn’s Coach Hire’ sponsored Rainey 2nd XV hosted Portadown College hoping to build on their result from last weekend, where they achieved their first win of the season.
The fast start to the game caught Portadown cold and the game was only 3 minutes old when Neal Hastings, Rainey’s top try scorer this season, powered over after some great work by the forward pack. Lorcan Quinn showed quick footwork to fool the defence and go over under the posts for another try. He them again successfully converted his own to make it 14-0.
It was a well-orchestrated backline move from the Rainey team, which saw Callan Bloomer running through for another try, which was also converted by Quinn. Michael Lynn, who had marshalled his team in defence all game, scored right on the half time whistle to leave the score 28-0.
Matthew Kerr powered over for a well worked forwards try in the 50th minute of the game. Rainey’s defence, which had been excellent all day, eventually yielded to allow Portadown a consolation try after a missed tackle out wide let the Portadown winger in for a try.
Callan Bloomer picking up his second try of the game. The try was converted to make the final score 40 – 5 in favour of Rainey.
Special mention must go to Lorcan Quinn who successfully converted 6 out of his 6 attempted conversions.
The ‘Cunningham Covers and ‘AC Engineering (Magherafelt)’ sponsored Medallion XV also played Portadown College in a rather one sided contest. Straight away from the kick of, Rainey put Portadown on the back foot with an early try.
Tries came from Adam Currie (3), Connor Stringer, Todd Smyth, Aaron Hamilton and William Drennan followed. Adam Patrick kicked 7 superb conversions which completed a very good day for the young Rainey side who ended up winning 54-0!
The team is constantly progressing from week to week which should be credited to the hard work from the players and the work being done by coaches Graeme Eastwood and Jamie Cassidy.
Rainey U14 travelled to Clounagh Junior High on Saturday. It was a closely contested game in which Rainey ran out narrow winners with a result of 19-7.
It wasn’t long until Rainey broke the deadlock with a great run by Michael McIvor who passed to Matthew Smyth who scored in the corner. However after the break Rainey were unable to maintain the pressure on the Clounagh defence, with Clounagh finding space out wide and crossing the line for a try, the score was now 7-5 to Clounagh.
Rainey then took control of the game again and after extended pressure from the Rainey attack, a penalty was awarded in which Rainey executed a set move close to the line which allowed Martin McNulty to cross the line for a try. This was converted by Matthew Smyth.
A great team move resulted in David Lennox scoring under the posts. After a superb display from Rainey the match ended 19-5.
In the U13 game Rainey kicked off and from the start Clounagh looked dangerous. Their centre ran past three Rainey players only to be stopped by Karl Warner with an amazing tackle. A darting run from Karl saw him create a gap and pass to Jack Bresland to score under the posts. Karl converted.
Five minutes Ciaran Doyle was held up short of the line only for Bryan Hall to pick up the ball and dive gracefully over the line and three opponents to score. Just before half time Ciaran Doyle again made a fast line break, drew the opposition player in and passed to Karl Warner to score under the posts.
David Dripps coming back from injury made a swift break to score beside the posts. Karl scored a magnificent second and third try. Rory Bradley came on from the bench and scored beside the corner flag with an amazing break from ten metres out. Karl again was through, drew the man before the line and was about to pass to David for a second when Tim Campbell intercepted and scored a nice try.
Clounagh never gave up and with that spirit they scored a wonderful try from their big centre. Credit to Ben Aspbel as he unexpectedly started and played a fantastic game. The game ended with Rainey winning 47-7.
The ‘Sportique’ Sponsored Rainey Rugby Players of the Month are: 1st XV – Rigan Sanderson, 2nd XV – Cameron Noble, Medallion – Adam Patrick, U14A – Matthew McGurk, U14B – Kelvin Hyndman, U13A – Karl Warner and U13B – Gavin Currie.
This Saturday’s fixtures are against Larne GS. The 1st XV and 2nd XV are away. The Medallion, U14s and U13s are at home with 10am kick offs. All support welcome.