THE rugby fraternity in Ulster, and particularly in South Derry, has been deeply saddened by the recent passing of Dawson McConkey. His influence and contribution at all levels of the game has been immense and his name is well respected in rugby circles throughout the land.
A native of Ballynahinch, he enjoyed Schools’ Cup success at Methodist College and went on to captain Collegians.
As P.E. teacher at the Rainey, he produced a succession of great sides which put Magherafelt on the rugby map.Rainey shared the Cup in 1963 and won it four years later when Dawson was an Ulster Schools selector.
Dawson ended his playing career with the Old Boys as player/coach and looked on with pride as they became one of the best Junior clubs in the province.
He was later invited to coach Junior Ulster and was Tour Manager when Rainey went to the Bahamas in 1982.
Apart from the playing side, Dawson was always willing to do his bit for the club in any capacity and was a great clubman and ambassador.
He was especially delighted that the elusive Towns’ Cup came to Magherafelt in 1983 while he was Chairman.
It was only natural that he should serve as Club President and he later lent his experience to the Irish Colleges squad.
City Of Derry 3rd XV 15 - 30 Rainey OB 3rd XV
After the holiday break, Rainey O.B. 3 looked decidedly rusty in the first half hour of their Junior 4 encounter with City of Derry at Judges Road where underfoot conditions were remarkably firm. But after being gfted two tries, they got their act together to run out comfortable 30-15 winners.
An early penalty gave Derry the lead before a timely tap tackle denied Rainey out-half Irvine. Full-back Moran levelled matters before Derry assumed control. With the breeze in their favour, Rainey made little impression as their indiscipline saw them penalised several times and brought them a warning from the referee. When prop Hutchinson was the unlucky one to be yellow carded, it did not look good for Rainey, but in his absence they were gifted fourteen points.
Moran had the legs to race the length of the pitch when he intercepted twenty yards from his own line and converted again when right-wing Spiers grabbed a loose pass forty yards out five minutes later.
Derry looked likely to score just on half-time, but a great turnover allowed Rainey to clear the danger.
Moran made Derry’s task harder when he drilled home a fine penalty. Derry’s pace in the centre brought them a converted try, but Moran obliged again when centre Montgomery was brought down in front of the posts and Derry transgressed.
Rainey remained in control with Davis and Hutchinson giving their support a good target and, after making a mess of a golden opportunity, the ball fell kindly to flanker McNamee and there was no stopping him from close range. Moran added the points with another well-judged kick.
Donaghadee 3rd XV 5 - 24 Rainey O.B. 4th XV
Rainey O.B.4th had no shortage of raw potential on duty for their Butler Shield clash with Donaghadee 3, a fixture switched to Regent House School when the posts at the coastal club were a victim of the recent high winds.
The vastly experienced Gary Coleman came out of retirement for this one and opened the scoring when he picked up at the base of a scrum to force his way over. Full-back McBride then sent Scullion in at the corner leaving Walker to convert.
And from a five metre scrum, McBride side-stepped his way through to put them 17-0 ahead.
Midway through the second half, replacement Holgate stretched their lead when out-half Devlin created an opening. In the last play of the game, Dee picked up a consolation try.
Fixtures for Saturday 14th January
1st XV v Omagh - Away
2nd XV v Ards 2 - Conference (H)
3rd XV v Ophir 2 - Forster Cup (H)
4th XV v Portadown 5 (A)