RESULTS - Saturday 1 October
1st XV v Ards AIL 39-3 home
2nd XV v Limavady Junior Cup home - lost
3rdXV v Banbridge 3 Junior 4 away 3-27
Peter Sciascia once again took centre stage as Rainey Old Boys embarked on their AIL campaign with a bonus point 39-3 victory over a young Ards side at Hatrick Park. The little scrum-half played out a Pied Piper role in leading a willing supporting cast to just the kind of display they were looking for prior to their away trip to Nenagh.
The North Tipperary side have a great record against Rainey and kicked off with a fine win over Wanderers at the Aviva Stadium.
Rainey’s day was spoiled somewhat by a knee injury which prop Neil O’Kane picked up early in the game. The cornerstone of the Old Boys pack could be out for several weeks. They were fortunate to have Ulster Under 20 captain Michael Shiels available again after the Interpro series and his pace in open play caused Ards no end of problems.
After missing a first minute shot at goal Ards found themselves for the most part on the defensive.
Martin was short from long range before O’Kane had to retire after only six minutes. Boyle moved into the front row, with Shiels coming into the second row. Despite going back in the scrum, Rainey made good ground down the left through McBride and Sufferin to establish a strong field position and Martin opened the scoring with a fourteenth minute penalty.
Ards missed another penalty attempt and seconds later found themselves ten points adrift. Sciascia countered with Stewart in support and when Shiels broke loose into the Ards 22’ he had Stewart on his shoulder to apply the coup de grace. Ards did well to hold out when Montgomery created a chance for McBride, but their defence was split open again when full-back Paul countered from deep with Stewart sending wing Clarke away for another fine try which Martin converted from near the touchline.
Out-half Cox opened Ards’ account, but Martin replied after Rainey had patiently built the phases to force a penalty.
Three minutes from half-time, hooker Sufferin marked his birthday with the simplest of touchdowns when a little kick through from a ruck by Sciascia left the visitors’ defence totally flatfooted. It was almost half-time before Ards managed to handle the ball in the home 22’, a series of penalties and scrums bearing no fruit.
The second half produced little to shout about with countless stoppages and substitutions disrupting play. Most of the decisions went Ards’ way and Rainey captain Hawe was yellow carded. A quickly taken penalty by McBride gave blindside Dawson the chance to stretch his legs along the touchline before a glorious opportunity was butchered.
From the ensuing scrum, however, Rainey centre McMurray pounced on a loose Ards pass to clinch the bonus point for his side. Replacement Wilson initiated another sweeping movement which had Ards reeling before Sciascia crowned a fine display with a marvellous solo effort. Gaining possession outside his own 22’, he broke towards the left touchline where he chipped over the head of an opponent to race away for a try out of nothing. Now on top in the tight, Rainey remained in total control and the lively McBride made another break but could not deliver the final pass.
TEAM : R.Paul, A.Clarke, T.Montgomery, D.McMurray, J.McBride, G.Martin, P.Sciascia, S.McDowell, S.Sufferin, N.O’Kane, P.Stewart, P.Boyle, D.Dawson, A.Harbinson,S .Hawe.
REPLACEMENTS : M.Shiels (O’Kane 6)N.Rankin (Harbinson 47) R.Hall (McDowell 57) P.Wilson (Montgomery 60) K.Donaghy (Sufferin 67)
1st Nenagh Away AIL 2.30
2nd Hollywood Away L 2.30
3rd Queens Away L 2.30
U19 Derry Home L 2.30
U17 Coleraine Home L 11.00
U15 Coleraine Home L 11.00
U13 Coleraine Home L 11.00
200 CLUB - Oct.winners are - Paul Flanigan, Cookstown and Bryan McLean, Cloverhill Fuels (Maghera)