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As the business end of the season looms ahead, Rainey Old Boys face a demanding schedule from Saturday until the end of February.  Having clinched the SONI Premiership Section 1 title before Christmas with an impressive home win over Banbridge, they chose to field a shadow outfit in a meaningless fixture against Malone at Gibson Park and were duly hammered.  This decision has been criticised in some quarters, but, in view of the difficult programme that lies ahead, it is perfectly understandable that the squad were given a welcome break.

While Rainey Old Boys can feel well satisfied with their season to date, they know that a very demanding period lies ahead.  Three AIL fixtures, followed by two important SONI Ulster Premiership ties before Christmas will fully test them.


In order to be competitive in 2A, they had to replace several players with similar ability and add strength in depth to the squad.  This they managed to do, with the new faces settling in well and making an early impression.  The unexpected availability of lineout star Ronan McCusker has been a huge bonus and the form of young back-row Jack Bresland a real revelation.  If they can avoid long-term injuries, this Rainey squad is capable of holding its own in any company.

On Saturday, Rainey Old Boys welcome leading Junior club Dromore to Hatrick Park for a friendly run out before the competitive business kicks off a week later.  After a struggle to stay in the top tier, Dromore bounced back well to enjoy better fortunes last season.  They have had a steady stream of young players coming through from their feeder school and now that they have been admitted to Schools Cup level, these young prospects can only get better.  The Barban Hill side have always been formidable opponents, even though there are several other clubs in close proximity on the look out for players with clear potential.  KO is early at 1:00pm.