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Senior Friendly 19th August 2017

Scorers: Stewart(1*Try), McIlroy(1*Try, 3*Conv), McMurray(1*Try), Stirling(1*Try)



While visitors Omagh Academicals had a makeshift pack on view, Rainey Old Boys took the opportunity to give more of their squad a run-out when the sides played a Senior friendly at Hatrick Park which was in peak condition for the start of the season. There was some good rugby played along with the inevitable early season unforced errors as Rainey ran out 26-22 winners.


It was all Omagh in the opening minutes and they deservedly went ahead after 14 minutes spent in Rainey territory with a well-taken try down the right wing. Rainey struggled to get going up front, but captain Damien McMurray broke the gain line after 27 minutes to find second-row Stewart on the hoof and he was helped over under the posts. McIlroy converted. Just over the half-hour mark, Rainey were threatening, but a handling error presented Omagh with turnover ball which they used well to score at fine try. Right on half-time, Rainey piled into the Omagh 22' before going right for out-half Magrath to slot through a little kick for McIlroy to get the touchdown to leave Rainey 14 - 10 ahead.


Magrath played much of the second-half at full-back as Rainey wanted to try some players in different positions, but the Ballymena lad, who helped Banbridge to the Division 2A title last season, still looked the part with some lengthy touch kicks. Rainey soon added to their lead when Stewart charged on from a lineout into the 22' with Magrath and Bloomfield handling before McMurray crashed over for a deserved score. Omagh then went close before Philip McCusker demonstrated his side-stepping ability as he cut infield in style.


After an uneventful period, the game sprang to life again when Omagh kept the ball in hand from their own 22' to score a great try at the posts. Rainey replied straight from the drop-out in a most unusual way. Another Ballymena man, Adam Kirk, who played a season at Hatrick Park on leaving school, soared to take the drop-out on the run and gallop into the 22' with supportbefore flanker Miller sent Stirling over for a dramatic try. Omagh kept in touch by going through the phases to be rewarded with a try and twice intercepted only to be denied by the referee's whistle for offside. Rainey started to get on top in the scrum, but missed an absolute sitter when they created a three to one situation near the visitors' line. No8 Michael McCusker was the guilty party when he opted to take McMurray's pass with one hand but spilled it.


TEAM : R.Lamberton, A.Moran, J.McIlroy, D.McMurray, A.Donaghy, A.Magrath, M.Wilson, K.Donaghy, A.McSwiggan, F.Quinn, P.Stewart, R.McCusker, M.Miller, A.Harbinson
REPLACEMENTS : N.Stirling, A.Kirk, P.McCusker, S.Crooks