Rainey pick up first Ulster League points

Rainey's G Martin.''Instonians v Rainey Old Boys at Shaws Bridge, Belfast. Saturday 3rd November, 2007. Picture: Diane Magill
Rainey's G Martin.''Instonians v Rainey Old Boys at Shaws Bridge, Belfast. Saturday 3rd November, 2007. Picture: Diane Magill

Rainey OB 48

Banbridge 29

ELEVEN TRIES were scored at Hatrick Park last Wednesday evening, seven of them by Rainey Old Boys who picked up their first points in the Ulster League by beating Banbridge 48-29.

Since Banbridge were unable to send a strong side for an early kick-off, Rainey rested some of their elder statesmen. The quality of rugby did not suffer, as both of these young teams tried to entertain on a perfect evening for a game.

Rainey’s try scoring exploits earned them a bonus point, while the visitors staged a very late rally to go home with something to show for their efforts.

Rainey were ahead within three minutes of kick-off. When Banbridge sought to go down the short side from a scrum, Rainey out-half Martin intercepted a telegraphed pass to run in a gift try which he converted. He would go on to add four more conversions and a penalty.

Banbridge got off the mark with a penalty, but when Stewart led a drive into the 22’, slick handling from O’Kane enabled full-back Clarke to squeeze in at the corner.

McMurray, Martin and then Harbinson featured in a good move which came to nothing when the advantage law was not applied, but shortly afterwards hooker Sufferin started and finished a move in which McClelland and O’Kane played a part.

Banbridge pressed strongly towards the break, but Rainey held on to lead 19-3 at the change over.

Within seconds of the restart, Clarke broke through the middle and O’Kane sold a neat dummy to touch down for try number four. Back-row colleagues Harbinson and Hawe combined to set up a clear chance, but a turnover saved Banbridge. The away side then put together several phases to take play into the home 22’ only for Sufferin to hack upfield and chase down a defender who was penalised.

Rainey opted for the corner and a catch and drive which brought Stewart a try. A clear lack of concentration allowed Banbridge to score a pushover try to make it 31-10 as Rainey started to introduce fresh legs.

A penalty for Rainey was followed by a tap and go from scrum-haf Wilson before some crisp passing brought Banbridge a try.

For a spell the counter rucking of Banbridge proved productive as Rainey failed to commit enough forwards to the breakdown, but the Old Boys re-grouped and managed to up the tempo and create an excellent try for McClelland.

Straight from the restart,O’Kane broke over halfway to put in a little kick for Hawe. The ball was scrambled into touch, but the forwards took it on from the lineout for O’Kane to score.

Three minutes from time, Banbridge scored a good try, but were immediately back on their own line where Rainey messed up a likely try with a wayward throw. The final play of the game brought Banbridge a deserved try at the posts.

Team : A.Clarke, M.McClelland ,D.McMurray, W.Montgomery, J.Mc Bride, G.Martin, P.Wilson, R.Hall, S.Sufferin, N.O’Kane, P.Stewart, N.Rankin, G.McGuckin, S.Hawe, A.Harbinson.

Replacements: K.Donaghy (Sufferin 56) S,Mc Dowell (Hall 56) D,Rankin (Montgomery 58) A.Dysart (Harbinson 62)