Rainey Old Boys claim All-Ireland League title with bonus point victory over rivals Armagh

Champagne moment for the team.INMM1513-402 PICTURE: Charles Henderson.
Champagne moment for the team.INMM1513-402 PICTURE: Charles Henderson.

RAINEY Old Boys coach Chris Campbell paid tribute to the hard work and dedication of his players after his team secured the Ulster Bank League Division 2B title for the first time.

“It is just fantastic,” he told the MAIL, “and all the plaudits go to the players and their commitment to the cause, their reaction to the coaching.

“We have made steady progress since we got into the All-Ireland League in 2006; two years ago we finished sixth and last year fourth. There are guys like Neil O’Kane and Peter Boyle who have been with us since the dark days in Junior League 2 but now those guys really deserve their day in the sun.

“It has been a fantastic year for us which includes our first All-Ireland title and the club’s first appearance in the Ulster Senior Cup final but we’re not finished yet.

“We have the chance of finishing the season as the only unbeaten side in the All-Ireland League and that would be some feat considering the tough places we’ve had to go in this league,” Chris said.

Relegation-threatened Clonakilty will stand in the way of the Old Boys and their perfect season when they visit Hatrick Park on Saturday.

They must win to have a chance of avoiding the drop and that will present the champions with a serious threat to their 100 per cent season.

Win, lose or draw, Rainey will be presented with the Division 2B trophy after the match in recognition of their stunning season.

Meanwhile, Rainey Endowned School 1st XV play Ulster Schools this Friday as part of the 300th anniversary celebrations. The game is at the school with a 4.15pm kick off.