Rainey ES 1st XV good run continues

On Wednesday 18th November the ’P Keenan Road Surfacing’ sponsored Rainey ES 1st XV played Ballymena Academy. The conditions were extremely difficult which would make open rugby difficult.  With a strong wind at their backs, Rainey started brightly enjoying a lot of possession. Intelligent kicking from Lorcan Quinn and Matthew Smyth put Rainey in good attacking positions. An excellent lineout catch from Neal Hastings gave Adam Currie the chance to run at the Ballymena defence and he powered through a couple of tackles to score close to the posts. Lorcan Quinn converted to give Rainey a 7-0 lead.

Playing into a stiff breeze Ballymena were finding it difficult to get out of the own half. A Matthew Mulholland kick forced the visitors deep into their 22. A well worked move involving Richard Winder and Adam Hunter created an opportunity for Cameron Stewart and he did well to reach the line scoring Rainey’s 2nd try. Lorcan Quinn added the conversion to make it 14-0. The home side continued to press and a third try followed when Matthew Smyth showed footwork to score. This made the score 19-0.

The Ballymena players were struggling with the conditions and the pressure exerted by Rainey. Up front Andrew Nevin and Wallace Bruce were doing good work. This led to a fourth Rainey try. Good ball from the forwards reached Michael Lynn who made progress down the wing before finding Matthew Mulholland in support. Matthew’s speed took him beyond the defenders and over the line for a fine try. Lorcan Quinn converted to increase the lead to 26-0. With half time approaching excellent work from Matthew Gordon forced a Ballymena mistake and Adam Thornton showed great awareness to pounce on the ball and go on to score. Lorcan Quinn converted to make it 33-0.

The second half started with Rainey facing the elements. A couple of simple mistakes from the home side gave Ballymena some dangerous attacking positions. However, excellent defensive work from Andrew Hawe prevented a certain score. The pressure from the visitors eventually told and they scored to close the gap to 33-7. This gave the Ballymena boys hope and they came at the Rainey defence again. The confidence and intensity that Rainey showed in the first half seemed to be missing. It wasn’t before long that Ballymena forced a second try. This made the score 33-14.

Rainey, however, came up with the perfect response. Todd Smyth started an attack deep in the Rainey half. Mark Mulholland then displayed fine skill to carry the ball into the visitor’s territory. Gregory Conway found space and fed Neal Hastings who made the line to score a very good try. Lorcan Quinn kicked an excellent conversion into the wind to make it 40-14. As time ran out Nathan Lennox and Connor Stringer did some important work in defence. The game ended with no further scores and an excellent 40-14 win for Rainey. This was another pleasing performance which the whole squad can take satisfaction from. However, they must but careful not to drop their intensity as this lets the opposition back into the game.

The ‘James Reid Building Contractor (Maghera)’ sponsored Medallion continued their good run with a convincing win over Ballymena. They won the game by 41-0 with tries from David Dripps (3), Ben Aspell, Harry Evans, Adam McCrum and Bryan Hall.  Karl Warner kicked 3 conversions.

The U14s turned around a large point’s difference from last season by winning 14-7. They produced a real gutsy performance, scoring tries from Ross Speers and Abban McCloy. Ross kicked 2 conversions.  However, the U13s came up against a much bigger Ballymena side losing 37-0. The U13B’s also found the going tough against a very physical side losing 32-5. Cameron Smyth scored the Rainey try.

The U12s had their first taste of competitive rugby when they hosted Belfast Royal Academy and Limavady GS in a blitz. The U12A beat BRA ‘B’ 35-0 with tries from Thomas Smyth (2), Matthew Thom (2), Simon Matterson, Ben Brown and Jake McConnell. They also drew with Limavady GS A with Matthew Thom, Thomas Smyth and Jake McConnell scoring. They then lost to BRA ‘A’ 30-15 with Jake McConnell, Cameron Smyth and Simon Matterson scoring tries. The U12B beat BRA ‘C’ 35 15 with Brian McKenna (2), Dylan Wilson (2), Lee Lennox, Samuel Bruce and Jacob Bell scoring tries. They then lost 25-15 to Limavady GS with Lee McGucken, Lee Lennox and Dylan Wilson scoring. The U12C defeated BRA ‘D’ 30-15 with Jonnie Boyle (2), Dylan Wilson (2), Brian McKenna and Samuel Ballentine scoring. They also beat Limavady GS ‘C’ with Dylan Wilson (2), Jonnie Boyle (2) and Brian McKenna scoring.

This week’s fixtures are against Omagh Academy. On Wednesday 25th the 1st XV play Omagh Academy at the Mid Ulster Sports Arena Cookstown. Kick off 4.15pm. On Saturday the U14s, the U13A and U13B play Omagh Academy at home with 9.45 am kick offs. all support welcome.

The Medallion travel to England on Thursday for a short tour. They will play King Edward VI School Stratford and Hinckley Academy. They will also go to watch a premiership rugby game at Franklins Garden and a premiership football game at Villa Park.