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SONI Ulster Premiership League 8th March 2018

Scorers: M.McCusker(1*Try), Lamberton(1*Try), J.McMurray(1*Try), Martin(1*Conv)



Rainey welcomed Dungannon to Hatrick Park last Thursday night for their final SONI Ulster Premiership League game and with nothing at stake, gave a run out to a number of fringe players.  Both sides tried to play a fast, open brand of rugby, but lacked accuracy.  Rainey had plenty of chances to win it, but Dungannon held on for a 20-17 victory.


Jason Bloomfield made a welcome return from injury and the former Ireland U19 scrum-half created the best try of the night and came close to winning it for his team in the last minute.


With a  dry ball on a firm surface, both sides were keen to put width on it and Dungannon drew first blood after six minutes when they broke out of defence to win quick ball in the home 22' and score in the corner.  An excellent conversion made it 7-0.  Three minutes later, Rainey broke their duck when flanker Michael McCusker was brought down just short, but managed to regain his footing to dot down over the line.  They then squandered a glorious chance in the left corner and were made pay shortly afterwards when their fringe defence was badly caught out at a ruck on the Rainey 22' to allow a Dungannon player to go through unopposed.  After 32 minutes  the brilliance of Bloomfield tore the visitors apart for Lamberton to finish in the corner.


Rainey produced some very promising approach play in the third quarter, but lost the ball too easily in contact.  To add to their frustration, replacement prop Smyth was yellow carded.  After establishing field position yet again, No8 McMurray was held up, but a minute later snapped up a loose ball to score at the posts, out-half Martin adding the points.  A penalty gave Dungannon the lead again before Rainey captain Damien McMurray was just held when he looked like getting through the middle.  A Rainey player was taken out off the ball, but no action was taken.


With one minute left on the clock, Rainey were awarded a penalty in front of the posts on the 22', but opted for a scrum from which Bloomfield broke to set up a chance, but Dungannon somehow held out.  Despite a plethora of substitutions, no additional time was added.


TEAM:  O.Quinn, R.Lamberton, D.McMurray, A.Brown, M.Mulholland, G.Martin, J.Bloomfield, K.Donaghy, A.McSwiggan, F.Quinn, R.McCusker, J.McCusker, M.McCusker, J.McMurray, M.Miller.

REPLACEMENTS:  A.Harbinson, P.Stewart, C.Smyth, J.McIlroy, T.Andrews.