THE sun shone at Hamilton Park where Rainey Old Boys beat a poor Ards side 50-0 in the Ulster League. Both sides used this fixture to give some of their fringe players some game time and Ards will be well aware that they have their work cut out in the coming weeks to retain their senior status.
Rainey threw the ball about with gay abandon at times in perfect conditions and made unforced errors, but gradually improved their accuracy to run rampant in the last quarter when a few of their senior statesmen were called on to stretch their legs.
Ulster Under 19 prop Stephen Best made his first appearance in a young Rainey side which had to defend in the opening minutes.
Sciascia, Campbell and Stewart turned defence into attack and several phases later hooker McDowell crossed to put them ahead. An almost certain try was ruled out when the touch judge indicated that Sciascia had put a foot in touch, when, in fact, he had worked wonders to stay on the pitch.
After 25 minutes centre McMurray cruised through the middle to send Montgomery over at the posts, out-half Martin adding the first of five conversions. Sciascia then took a quick free to put Martin through.
He chipped ahead with flanker Dysart appearing to win the race for the touchdown. But the referee deemed that the ball had not been grounded properly and disallowed the try.
In time added on the Ards scrum disintegrated for flanker Harbinson to nip in and leave Rainey 17-0 up at the interval.
A dull third quarter produced few highlights. Rainey dominated territorially, but lacked composure.
A promising attack came to an abrupt end when a timely ankle tap tackle floored wing McClelland and a succession of slack passes let Ards off the hook.
A three try salvo in a crazy five minute spell left Ards shellshocked. Stewart broke from a maul which followed a lineout and straight from the restart, Sciascia and Martin headed a move which ended with second-row Boyle fielding a pin-point crosskick from Martin to grab try number five.
A handling error then helped Campbell to another.
Ards did themselves no favours by trying to open the ball behind their own posts and making a mess of it. A good shove gave No.8 Dawson a pushover try and in the last minute skipper Hawe was on hand to finish off a sweeping move.
Team : R.Paul, A.Campbell, W.Montgomery, D.McMurray, M.McClelland, G.Martin, P.Sciascia, S.Best, S.McDowell, R.Hill, N.Rankin, P.Stewart, A.Dysart, A.Harbinson, D.Dawson.
Replacements (all used) : P.Wilson, N.O’Kane, P.Boyle, K.Donaghy, S.Hawe.