SATURDAY 3rd December turned out to be a very busy day at Rainey Endowed School with six home fixtures. The ‘P Keenan Road Surfacing’ sponsored 1st XV hosted an unbeaten RS Armagh side which contained a number of Ulster School boys. Rainey yet again had to reshuffle their side because of the significant number of injuries in the Senior Squad.
Rainey started the game very well and with the wind at their backs put their fancied opponents under pressure. The young pack, which contained four Form 5s competed really well and made the Armagh eight work for everything. For most of the first half Rainey enjoyed territorial advantage and the half backs of Oisin Quinn and Arran Murphy played the conditions intelligently.
The potential of the visitors was shown in a 10 minute spell just before half time, when they hit with a three try blitz. This gave them a 15-0 halftime lead and showed Rainey that you can’t afford to make mistakes or miss tackles at this level. The second half started with Armagh on the offensive but Rainey withstood every attack. A further converted try however, increased their lead to 22-0.
Rainey then gave as good as they got for the next 20 minutes with Thomas Booth, Jonathan Lees and Conal Murphy leading the charge. Chris Moffett made some vital tackles in mid field to stop a number of attacks and Odhran McCloy was always a danger on the right wing. Armagh scored a final, rather fortuitous try, right on the final whistle. With Rainey on the attack, the ball was spilled and was hacked through for Armagh to score and leave the final score 29-0.
Although defeated, Rainey can take many positives from this game. The performance was encouraging and many young players like Matthew McCready, Jonnie Stewart and Mark Kavanagh showed what they are capable off. With hard work and sheer determination, this Rainey side can get better.
In the other fixtures against RS Armagh a very young 2nd XV dominated play in the first half but found themselves 12-0 down. Their inexperience showed in the 2nd half and they went on to loose 36-0, with John Stewart putting in a super performance.
The ‘David Allingham Forklift Safety Training’ sponsored Rainey ES Medallion led 12-3 for most of the game with tries from Andrew Conway and Andrew Nicholl and a conversion from Mark Rooney. Armagh however, staged a late comeback and stole the game 17-12. The U14 XV lost 21-10 with tries from James McGurk and James McMillan. The U13 XV gifted Armagh a 26 point start, then they woke up and scored through Matthew Porter and dominated the rest of the game.
In the Northern Bank Ulster Schools 3rd XV cup Rainey played Ballyclare HS and unfortunately lost 34-13. Although the Rainey boys gave their all they found the Ballyclare defence very hard to break down, with Jonnie Blair and Barry Wilkinson scoring the Rainey points.
This Saturday’s fixtures are against Friends School, Lisburn and Carrickfergus GS. The 1st and 2nd XVs are away to Friends. The U14 XV and U13A and B XV are at home to Carrickfergus GS. The home Kick offs are at 10.15am. All support welcome. We would also like to wish the Medallion best wishes on their tour to London.