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Energia AIL 2A 29th February 2020

Scorers: M.O'Neill(1*Try), Connolly(1*Pen)

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The weather was the real winner at Hatrick Park where Cashel kept their promotion chances very much alive by holding on to beat Rainey Old Boys 15-8 to avenge a defeat at Spafield earlier in the season.  Queen's made it six in a row by beating Old Crescent 24-7 at The Dub, joining Cashel in second place, a point behind Barnhall, whose game with Buccaneers was called off.

 

While the playing surface held up well considering the inclement weather, conditions could hardly have been worse for the players or the sparse crowd who braved the elements.  Many of the spectators wisely opted to remain indoors.  The Tipperary side did not have to face the rain, sleet and snow which ceased at half-time, but they dominated up front when it mattered as Rainey simply turned over too much ball in contact and made a few dubious decisions.

Energia AIL 2A 22nd February 2020

Scorers: D.O'Neill(1*Try), M.O'Neill(1*Try), Magrath(2*Conv, 1*Pen)

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Despite beating Old Crescent 32-10 earlier in the season, Rainey Old Boys expected a difficult examination in Limerick where the Rosbrien side are an altogether different proposition.  After a slow start to the season, Crescent are now on a roll and a 29-17 victory keeps them in the promotion race while Rainey drop out of the top four.  For Rainey, Saturday's home clash with second-placed Cashel is a must-win game.  The Old Boys were 18-15 winners of a classic encounter at Spafield in November and must find something special if they are to topple the Tipperary outfit.

Energia AIL 2A 15th February 2020

Scorers: Connolly(1*Pen), (1*Pen Try)

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Storm Dennis caused havoc at Hatrick Park on Saturday where Rainey Old Boys met Queen's University in a crucial AIL fixture.  The pitch had dried out well on Friday, but a downpour at lunchtime Saturday put the match in jeopardy.  After two inspections, the referee called the game off.  Then it was on again and then off again.  The all-weather pitch at Meadowbank was an alternative, but it did not meet all the criteria required for staging an AIL game.  But, after a phone call to Dublin, the game was given the go-ahead.  Some of the Queen's players were on their way home by this stage, but returned in time for a 3.05pm start.  All this upheaval was soon forgotten when they held on for a deserved 16-10 victory.

Energia AIL 2A 25th January 2020

Scorers: Connolly(3*Pen, 2*Conv), McMurray(1*Try), Magrath(1*Try)

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NUM Barnhall won all 18 AIL games they played in 2019, and a victory over Rainey Old Boys on Saturday would have equalled the record 29 consecutive AIL wins held by Terenure College.  Having edged home 8-3 in a high-class thriller at Parsonstown in early December, the return game promised to be worth seeing and the crowd that gathered at Hatrick Park were not to be disappointed.  A ding-dong affair saw the lead change hands several times as the outcome remained in doubt right until a last kick penalty gave Rainey a 23-15 victory.

 

This contest was a marvellous advert for rugby at this level, ranking with the best games ever seen in Magherafeit.  While Barnhall should still win the league at a canter, there is a tight race for the top four.  Rainey are well-placed, but cannot afford any slip-ups.  With a few key men unavailable, Rainey brought in Paddy Magowan to ease their selection problems and, inspired by the loose play of dynamic hooker Brad Roberts, the players worked themselves to a standstill.

BOI Senior Cup 18th January 2020
Scorers: Magrath(1*Try), Donaghy(1*Try), Connolly(1*Conv, 2*Pen)
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Bank of Ireland Senior Cup holders City of Armagh will be going for three-in-a-row when they face Ballynahinch in the final on March 6.  While the Co.Down men were accounting for Dungannon 30-21 at Ballymacarn Park, Armagh hit form in the third quarter at Hatrick Park to pull clear of a depleted Rainey side which kept battling to the end, to finish up 28-18 losers of a tie which was always entertaining.
 
For a variety of reasons, it was a strange looking Rainey side that took the field.  Four key members of the pack were unavailable, while a few others were short of game time.  They enjoyed some good spells and contested well, but made a couple of costly mistakes and struggled badly in the lineout when Armagh turned the screw.