Rugby: Rainey Endowed School defeat Ballyclare in style

The Rainey Endowed Medallion Shield team with coach Graeme Eastwood  line up for the camera prior to their home game against Banbridge. INMM0214-108ar.
The Rainey Endowed Medallion Shield team with coach Graeme Eastwood line up for the camera prior to their home game against Banbridge. INMM0214-108ar.

The ’P Keenan Road Surfacing’ sponsored Rainey ES 1st XV hosted the fancied Ballyclare HS on Saturday.

Rainey started in determined fashion putting the Ballyclare side under pressure. With the forwards winning lots of ball Rainey were able to lay siege to the Ballyclare line.

Although no scores came in the opening exchanges Ballyclare had to suck up a lot of pressure. Kieran Lynch and Mark Rooney put in some excellent kicks to pin the visitors back and to ensure Rainey had a territorial advantage.

A nice back move put Andrew Brown in space on the left wing. Andrew made good ground but was stopped short, but when the ball was recycled Rainey had the home defence stretched. David McClelland was on hand to crash through the centre and when the ball was won it was moved swiftly to left wing Andrew Nicholl who bravely dived into the corner to score. Kieran Lynch kicked an excellent conversion from the touchline to make the score 7-0.

Rainey continued to attack with Calvin Smyth doing excellent work at the breakdown, but the second score wouldn’t come.

With the first half drawing to a close Ballyclare advanced deep into Rainey territory. The visiting forwards drove hard at the home line but excellent tackling, particularly from Mark Kavanagh and Conal Murphy kept them out. Ballyclare came close to scoring but a very organised Rainey defence held firm.

Ballyclare started the second half strongly and had Rainey on the back foot. But again super defending by Rainey kept them out.

However, the pressure from the visitors eventually told when they were awarded a penalty. This was successfully kicked to narrow the score to 7-3.

A perfectly waited kick from Kieran Lynch put them in an excellent attacking position. A neatly timed lineout steal from Mark Kavanagh gave them possession which Rory Nicholl took advantage off. He stormed through a number of tackles to set up a good attacking position.

Conal Murphy and Eunan Shaw carried forward and when the ball came back Anton Lupari drove forward and crashed over the line. Kieran Lynch kicked the conversion and Rainey led 14-3.

Scott Campbell at scrum half was finding his runners expertly and Conal Murphy, Timmy Andrews and Eunan Shaw were punching holes in the visiting defence. Ballyclare however, came back strongly and almost scored when the ball was lost as they were crossing the line.

With the game drawing to a close a Ballyclare player was badly injured and sensibly it was decided to end the match.

Thankfully the Ballyclare player was not seriously injured and everyone wishes him a speedy recovery.

This was a fantastic performance and result for Rainey and demonstrates that when they are in the correct frame of mind and play with the right intensity in both attack defence they are a match for anyone.

Rainey ES have been drawn at home to Belfast Royal Academy in Round 2 of the Danske Bank Ulster Schools Cup. This game will take place in Magherafelt on Saturday 25th January. A large home support would be greatly appreciated.



The ‘Quinns Coach Hire’ sponsored Rainey ES 2nd XV hosted Ballyclare High School and hoped to build on last week’s win against Banbridge Academy.

Rainey started the game well, with the boot of Callan Bloomer pushing Ballyclare deep inside their own half and keeping them under pressure.

Rainey kept battering away and eventually, off a set scrum move from five metres out, were able to send Callan Bloomer over in the corner. The try extends Callan’s lead at the top of the teams try scoring chart. Lorcan Quinn added the extras to make it 7-0.

Conceding the try seemed to stir Ballyclare into life and they attacked relentlessly for the rest of the half. Some tough Rainey tackling forced mistakes from Ballyclare, but eventually a mistake at the lineout allowed Ballyclare forward to power over their first try of the afternoon. 7-5 to Rainey.

Ballyclare kept the pressure up for the rest of the half and some tired Rainey tackling allowed the away side in for another score before the half time whistle leaving the score 12-5 to the away side.

The second could not have started any worse for the home side as, almost immediately from the restart, 3 missed tackles allowed Ballyclare to score under the posts.

Conceding the try seemed to put some fire the bellies of the Rainey team and suddenly the line out started to fire, the defensive hits became more ferocious and the backline began to click. Rainey marched straight down the other end of the field and some big carriers from Stephen McAuley eventually led to Cameron Stewart going over in the corner. Lorcan Quinn added the difficult conversion to make it 19-14 to the away side, but Rainey were most certainly back in the game.

With Rainey pressing hard to get on level terms, the Ballyclare defence began to tire and Thomas Carleton was quick to recognise a gap in the defensive line and hand off the covering full back to score in the corner. Crucially, Lorcan Quinn successfully made the difficult conversion from the corner to put Rainey back in the lead 21-19.

With less than 10 minutes to go Ballyclare came back into the game, but the Rainey defence held strong under the excellent leadership of their captain Conor Stobo.

With only 5 minutes left, Rainey formed a driving maul on the Ballyclare 10m line and began to squeeze it forward. Eventually Callam Gilfilan popped out at the back to score his first try of the season. Lorcan Quinn landed another testing conversion to make the score 28-19, and that was how the game finished.

Credit must go to the boys for the character they showed to get themselves back into the game. Special mention must also go to Lorcan Quinn for his man of the match display and excellent kicking display under great pressure.

Danske Bank Shield



The’ Cunningham Covers’ and ‘AC Engineering (Magherafelt)’ sponsored Rainey Medallion kicked of their Medallion shield campaign at home to Banbridge Academy.

Rainey turned over possession very quickly and only to give away an unforced error. Both Rainey and Banbridge found it hard to maintain possession and find good field position. With the wind in their backs, it was Banbridge who got the first real attacking position, but Rainey remained strong in defence and held them out to half time.

This time it was Rainey’s turn to attack. With the wind to their back, Rainey pushed Banbridge the whole way, coming agonisingly close several times through Todd Smyth, William Drennan and Richard Winder.

With only five minutes left, Banbridge re-gained possession inside their own 22’ and made a quick break down the left wing, only to be superbly tackled by Richard Winder. With a penalty advantage to Banbridge within Rainey 22,

Banbridge went in search of a break through. Eventually, the referee called play back and gave the penalty to Banbridge. They quickly tapped it and hit it up being brought down 5metres short due to some tremendous defence from the Rainey pack and Andrew Hawe in particular. With a quick spread to the middle of the pitch they rumbled over underneath the posts with only a minute remaining. They converted the try and took a 7-0 lead.

The Medallion has received a bye in Round 1 of the Danske Bank Medallion Trophy.



The U14A travelled to play a strong Ballyclare team who had defeated Rainey easily in previous years, which made Rainey determined to overcome the deficit and leave with a victory.

The match started with both teams defence out weighing the opposition’s attack, with neither team able to find any space. However Ballyclare were able to exploit a hole in the Rainey defence with not long left before the end of the first half, which resulted in Ballyclare leading 7-0. With the last play off the half Ballyclare retained possession of the ball brilliantly and were rewarded with a try right before the half, which left the score 12-0 at half time.

Rainey began the second half with a lot more urgency with great attacking play from Patrick McGowan, Matthew Smyth and Paul McErlean, but despite their best efforts Ballyclare’s defence was just to hard to break down. Ballyclare ran in one more score before the end of the match, but Rainey will take lots of positive from the match and look forward to the next match.

The U14B team put in a very good performance but lost 19-5 to a strong Ballyclare HS U14B.



The U13 suffered a big defeat away to Ballyclare High School. In the first half, Gavin Currie had a great take, only to be turned over, Ballyclare then passed along the line to get the first score of the match.

From kick off Ballyclare knocked on for a Rainey scrum. Against the head Ballyclare’s number eight picked and went, a missed tackle and he was through.

Rainey kept going and was nearly rewarded. A strong Rainey scrum against the head was quickly passed out to Harry Evans, who found Karl Warner in space. A strong run against and Rainey were on the front foot. Five metres out, Peter McLean dived for the 5 metre but a strong tackle prevented a Rainey score. From this Ballyclare scored a try.

The second half saw a huge change in the Rainey side. Rainey chased the ball from the kick-off and forced a knock on. From that scrum, Matthew Dunlop found space on the wing and had his pass intercepted and Ballyclare scored. Ballyclare then scored two more tries while Rainey were on the attack.

From kick off Rainey chased deep into Ballyclaire’s half, forcing the out half to kick for touch. From the resulting lineout, Rainey set up a maul. Rainey were deep into Ballyclare’s twenty- two when the ball was dropped and the number eight picked up and scored beneath the posts.

Rainey with 5 minutes were awarded a penalty. Harry Evans and Bryn Davies saw space in behind Ballyclare’s defensive line. Harry kicked long and high for Bryn to chase. Bryn turned the ball over, but another dropped ball saw Ballyclare score beneath the posts.



Rainey U13B arrived at Ballyclare High School, to play in a friendly match.

Rainey started the game strongly, however ,it was Ballyclare who made the first break through by finding space out wide, this left the score 5-0 to Ballyclare. Ballyclare then retained possession of the ball, but with great defence from the Rainey team, especially Callum Donnelly, where able to keep the Ballyclare attack away from their try line.

However, just before the half Ballyclare were lucky to score another try as they were dominating the breakdown area, resulting in the half time score being 12-0 to Ballyclare.

Following the halftime stoppage, it was Rainey who began dominating the game, and it wasn’t long before excellent running from Daniel Clarke saw him score under the Ballyclare teams posts. Aidan McDonald converted the try leaving the score 12-7 to Ballyclare.

Despite the best efforts of the Rainey attack to win the game, Rainey were not able to score a try, so the match ended 12-7 to Ballyclare.

This Saturday’s fixtures are against Grosvenor GS. The 1st XV and 2nd XV are away. The 2nd XV game is actually Round 1 of the Danske Bank 2nd XV Cup. The U14, U13A and U13B are at home with a 109.15am kick off. All support is welcome.