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Ulster Bank AIL 15th December 2018
Scorers: O.Quinn(1*Try), O'Neill(1*Try), Bloomfield(1*Try), Magrath(1*Try, 2*Conv), Fritz(1*Try)
Photos

 

On a thoroughly miserable afternoon, Rainey Old Boys produced probably their best display of the season to beat Mid-Ulster neighbours Dungannon 29-0 at Hatrick Park.  The sides meet again on January 19 when the AIL resumes at Stevenson Park.  At the mid-season stage, Rainey will be happy with their comeback after a very slow start, while Dungannon have slipped down to bottom place.  This game passed a late inspection after hours of heavy rain and high winds and, while there were plenty of handling errors in the atrocious conditions, Rainey in particular, adapted well, with out-half Andy Magrath running the show throughout.  His kicking out of hand was most impressive.

 

The floodlights were on as Rainey swept forward from the off to force a penalty on the visitors' 22'.  It was missed, but after eleven minutes, another drive took them to the Dungannon posts where they were awarded another penalty.  Magrath stunned everybody present by planting a wind-assisted kick straight across the pitch right into the hands of wing Oisin Quinn who went in at the corner for a dramatic try.

 

Rainey lost forwards McSwiggan and Barker with injuries at the end of the first quarter, but with a strong bench on the day, their replacements slotted in seemlessly.  Dungannon hacked through to the Rainey posts when a loose pass put them in trouble, but full-back O'Neill got back just in time.  Solid Dungannon tackling thwarted Rainey who needed a score with the wind behind them and on 28 minutes O'Neill slipped through a little kick and touched down just before the dead ball line for a timely opportunist try which Magrath converted with a well judged kick in the crosswind.  Dungannon dictated towards the break, but created little.

 

Rainey dominated after the interval, scoring a great try on the 50 minute mark.  When Dungannon were penalised on the Rainey 22', hooker Fritz took a quick tap and headed upfield with some smart handling leading to wing Donaghy steaming towards the Dungannon 22'.  He found centre Fitzsimons on his inside and scrum-half Bloomfield arrived in support to go through to the posts from the 22'.  Rainey did not lose their hunger, with an up and under from Magrath well chased and a surge from prop McIntosh well supported.

 

The spectators who chose to remain outside rather than seek the warmth of the clubhouse had more good rugby to savour.  Magrath scored a fine try following some super handling before Dungannon had a forward binned for a high tackle.  Fritz had the final say when he dispossessed the Dungannon out-half, kicked on and won the race for the touchdown in the corner.

 

TEAM: M.O'Neill, A.Donaghy, D.McMurray, C.Fitzsimons, O.Quinn, A.Magrath, J.Bloomfield, A.McSwiggan, G.Fritz, K.Donaghy, R.McCusker, T.Barker, C.Clarke, M.McCusker, P.Pritchard.
REPLACEMENTS: J.McIntosh, J.McCusker, A.Harbinson, F.Quinn.