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SONI Ulster League 9th September 2017

Scorers: McIlroy(1*Try, 1*Pen, 3*Conv), Barker(1*Try), Bloomfield(1*Try), P.McCusker(1*Try)



There has been a real buzz around Rainey Old Boys rugby club this summer with the news that recruitment has gone really well.  The strength in depth of the senior squad will improve greatly and some of the newcomers are top quality players who can have a real impact.  Many of the attendance at last Saturday's SONI Ulster League game with Omagh Academicals would have been getting their first glimpse of some of these players and, while Rainey won that game 29-21, they will be hoping that they can hit the ground running when they entertain Old Crescent in Week 1 of the AIL on Saturday.

Rainey fielded a strong side against Omagh and started well, McIlroy giving them a 3-0 lead after thirteen minutes.  It was to go downhill after that.  Prop O'Hagan was yellow carded for a shoulder tackle and out-half Magrath had a pass just inside the Rainey half intercepted to gift the visitors the lead.  Despite an easy penalty miss, Rainey continued to dictate, but Omagh cleared their lines very well.  After 29 minutes, Barker, showing his colleagues how it should be done, drove over at the posts, with McIlroy converting.  John McCusker got the crowd going with a great midfield burst, but his offload went to an Omagh player. Another McCusker break led to a clear chance opening up on the left, but a wayward pass put an end to that move.  Towards the interval, Omagh threatened for the first time, causing Rainey captain McMurray to make a saving tackle.


Rainey upped the tempo to force a five metre scrum from which the pack did the needful for scrum-half Bloomfield to pick up an easy try.  They remained in charge as Omagh held them well, but the passing did not improve. McIlroy lifted the gloom by turning defence into attack with a 60 yard dash and, several phases later, crossed near the corner, landing a lovely conversion to put the icing on the cake.  A dreadful pass spoiled a promising move and Omagh made them pay by moving it acrossfield and using the space to run in a try which kept them in touch.


The introduction of Corrigan added some energy to the Rainey effort and McIlroy unselfishly placed Philip McCusker for a try.  Omagh had shown that they had some good runners behind the scrum and in the last minute they reduced the deficit with a very good try.


TEAM: R.Lamberton, P.McCusker, D.McMurray, J.McIlroy, O.Quinn, A.Magrath, S.Rutledge, K.Donaghy, T.O'Hagan, T.Barker, J.McCusker, P.Stewart, M.McCusker, P.Pritchard
REPLACEMENTS: F.Quinn, A.McSwiggan, D.Corrigan, S.Crooks, A.Harbinson