RAINEY Old Boys have usually found Clogher Valley a tough nut to crack in the past and it was no different at The Cran on Saturday when the teams met in the annual Derek Lee Memorial fixture.
Rainey played second fiddle to the Juniors up front for much of the game, but were able to put away their opportunities to win 22-12.
In the absence of some of their senior stalwarts, Rainey had the chance to integrate some new faces into the squad. Hardened Valley No.8 Ryan Wilson,a dual status player with Malone, had his big and physical pack fired up for the occasion and they wasted no time in imposing themselves on a relatively inexperienced Rainey eight.A little kick through put them in a great field position and their supremacy in the set piece helped them to a converted try after eight minutes. To add to Rainey’s problems, tight-head Hill had to retire with a damaged cheekbone.
Rainey replied two minutes later with a penalty from out-half Martin and towards the end of the first quarter centre McBride stepped inside to go in for a try at the posts,Martin converting.
They continued to move he ball around in style, but conceded a penalty in front of the home posts.
Second-row Stewart made a couple of timely tackles as the Fivemiletown men came more into the picture, but Rainey were back in business when they scored a brilliant try after thirty three minutes.
Impressive left-wing Clarke brought play infield on halfway before Rodney Paul launched a blindside attack which saw McBride go over after some quick hands and great support. Valley ended the half well, but lacked the accuracy to trouble the Rainey defence.
Rainey had the breeze behind them after the break, but the third quarter produced nothing of note. The Valley pack engineered a catch and drive try after fifty eight minutes to leave only three points between the sides, but another Rainey injury in the front row led to scrums being uncontested from then on,thus negating Clogher’s advantage in this department.
Rainey found line-out ball increasingly hard to come by as well, but when Clarke swooped to intercept fifty yards out on sixty five minutes, there was no catching the Coleraine lad.
With a ten point lead, Rainey, for whom another summer capture Peter Wilson, had a sound game at scrum-half, were content to keep it simple in the closing stages.
TEAM : R.Paul, R.Murray ,M.McClelland ,J.McBride ,A.Clarke ,G.Martin ,P.Wilson, S.Mc Dowell, S.Sufferin, R.Hill, D.Dawson , P.Stewart, A.Harbinson, S.Hawe ( capt. ),P.Heaney.
The Second XV game between the clubs was a strange affair. Clogher ran out 29-28 winners after leading 22-0 at the end of the first quarter.
With the breeze in their favour Rainey simply failed to get out of the blocks until they found themselves on the receiving end of a hammering. Two penalties and a drop goal from out-half Simpson reduced the deficit to 22-9 by half-time.
Rainey bossed most of the second half with flankers McGuckin and Dysart prominent.
Two tries from centre McMurray and a penalty and a solo try from Simpson put them in front ,but other chances were not taken.
They were made to rue these missed opportunities when an individual effort won the match for the Junior 1 men.
FIXTURES for Sat.27 August.
1st XV v BALLYMENA Ulster League (H) 2.30 p.m.
2nd XV v Ballymena 2 (H) 1.00 p.m.
3rd XV - DOOLEY CUP in Derry.