Rainey ES 1st XV played their rescheduled Danske Bank School Cup game on Wednesday 25th January. After the frost on Saturday, Wednesday’s conditions were much better. Playing with a slight breeze Regent House went immediately on the attack, dominating both territory and possession.
This, however, did not trouble the Rainey players as all Regents attacks were stopped by outstanding tackles, particularly from Mark Mulholland, Andrew Hawe and Matthew Gordon. After soaking up many Regent attacks Rainey achieved their first attacking opportunity. From a scrum, David Dripps ran a glorious line and with one defender to beat found Karl Warner who scored the first try. Adam Hunter converted to give Rainey a 7 0 lead. Regent continued to attack and were awarded a penalty which they kicked to make it 7 3. With half time approaching a fine break by captain Adam Currie set up a good attacking position for the local boys. When the ball reached Harry Evans, he made a clever pass to put Adam Hunter under the posts. Adam converted his own try to give Rainey a 14 3 lead. The score remained at this until half time.
A strong start from Rainey put regent under a lot of pressure. At scrum half Jac Lloyd Evans was causing the Regent defence a lot of problems. A strong carry by Bryn Davies led to Rainey’s third try. Bryn broke a number of tackles before feeding Bryan Hall. With the line approaching Bryan passed to Jack Bresland in space to run in for a score. Adam Hunter converted to make it 21 3. Regent, however, warned Rainey that they had not given up, when they scored in the corner to reduce the margin to 21 8. But Rainey’s quality was evident when they scored their fourth try. Fine work by Ciaran Doyle had Regent in trouble. Andrew Nevin then made good ground before he found Todd Smyth in support. Todd displayed excellent strength and footwork to drive for the line. Adam Hunter converted and then completed his 100% kicking performance when he kicked a penalty to give Rainey a 31 8 lead. Time was now running out for Regent, with Rainey introducing Tom Hughes, Adam Thornton, William Drennan, David Atkinson, Jonah Hastings and Aaron Hamilton to the action. With a few minutes left on the clock, Rainey got on the wrong side of the referee, conceding a number of penalties and getting two players sin-binned. While Rainey were down to 13 players Regent scored two tries to leave the final score 31 18.
Well done Rainey this was an excellent performance, in what could have been a tricky cup tie. A professional performance from the players ensured that this was a job really well done.
Rainey ES 1st XV were inspired by the performance of the Medallion team who played on Tuesday in Round 1 of the Danske Bank Medallion Trophy. They had been held to a draw, also by Regent at home in the first game and now had the difficult task of going to Newtownards for the replay. However, from the kick off the attitude and commitment from every player was obvious. With 20 minutes gone they got themselves in front with a Ross Speers penalty. Then 5 minutes later some excellent forward play enabled Marc Seffen to power over the line to give them an 8 point lead. In the second half Regent through everything at them but their defence was outstanding. Time after time they tackled their hearts out and in the end it paid off with an 8 0 victory. It was one of the gutsiest performances that had been witnessed by a Rainey team.
They now are away to Carrickfergus College in the Quarter Final of the Danske Bank Medallion Trophy.
On Saturday 4th February the Rainey ES 1st XV play Belfast Royal Academy in Round 4 of the Danske Bank Schools Cup. The game is away with a 10.45am kick off. All support would be much appreciated for this big game.