Rugby: Rainey Old Boys begin season with win over Clogher Valley

Rainey OB were in action recently against Clogher Valley
Rainey OB were in action recently against Clogher Valley

Rainey 15 Clogher Valley 10-

Rainey Old Boys took the opportunity to parade some of their new young players at Hatrick Park where they met Clogher Valley in the annual Lee Memorial Trophy match.

It was a useful exercise for both sides who enjoyed spells of supremacy. Rainey will, no doubt, be putting in some scrummaging practice before taking on Dungannon in their opening Ulster League Championship game on August 30th.

The Valley eight’s dominance in this department brought them back into the game after Rainey had made most of the running in the first half hour.

The home backs saw a lot of the ball from the off, but the inevitable early season mistakes proved frustrating and the visitors took the lead with a penalty on their first sortie into the Rainey half.

Rainey hit back with a try from hooker Joe Rowe who spotted a gap from a ruck to stretch out for the touchdown. The former Exiles Under 20 captain should be a good asset this season.

Former Coleraine flanker Conor Simpson was another to make an early impression. Rainey had chances to extend their lead, particularly when a chase and tackle by Lees led to a turnover, but the accuracy in the backs was lacking.

It was all Rainey on the resumption and a series of penalties set up the opportunity for O’Kane to peel from a maul with support for a try which was followed minutes later by another from scrum-half Pyper.

The Fivemiletown men replied when good use of the little inside pass brought them a try at the posts and they threatened again before Rainey regained the initiative.

Wave after wave of attacks had the Valley reeling, but they did not have the composure to convert the pressure into points and had to settle for a 15-10 victory.

Team: J Crowe, D McMurray, A McGlaughlin, S Derby, M McClelland, T Emerson, M Pyper, S Rutledge, J Rowe, T O’Hagan, P Stewart, M Shiels, J Lees, C Simpson, D Dawson (c).

Replacements: N O’Kane, K Donaghy, P McGowan, R Sanderson, G Martin, J McMurray.