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Ulster Bank AIL 23rd September 2017

Scorers: Magrath(2*Pen, 2*Conv), Pritchard(1*Try), Crooks(1*Try)

 

The clash of promoted clubs Navan and Rainey Old Boys attracted a big crowd to Balreask Old where they saw Rainey hold on for a deserved win in a high class, thrill-a-minute affair.  The Old Boys had only thirteen players on the park when Navan scored to creep closer, but they defended heroically in their new change strip to take the points and make up for not getting the rub of the green against Old Crescent on the opening day of the AIL.

 

Few, if any, sides will leave Navan with anything, so this is just the boost Rainey needed.  Out-half Andy Magrath got his line moving really well throughout the game, opting to keep the ball in hand most of the time against the blustery wind and his place-kicking was exceptional.  The tackling of the backs had to be spot on and it was.  The pack worked their socks off against a very big Navan unit with Pritchard and Barker outstanding.  John McCusker stole some great ball in the lineout, but on the three occasions when they went to the corner rather than go for the posts, Navan denied them good ball.

Ulster Bank AIL 16th September 2017
Scorers: Magrath(3*Pen, 1*Conv), McMurray(1*Try), Quinn(1*Try)
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The Division 2B game between Rainey Old Boys and Old Crescent at Hatrick Park had an agonising ending for the home side.  An away win looked a formality midway through the second half, but Rainey threw caution to the wind to put in a monumental effort in the last quarter which left them with a kick at goal to take a last minute lead.  But Andy Magrath's conversion attempt from out on the right came back off the inside of a post to give the Limerick men an invaluable 22-21 victory.


Rainey were naturally hugely disappointed at losing their opening home game, a game which they expected to be very tough.  Their lineout did not function that well and at times they were outrucked as a result of not committing enough forwards to the breakdown.  But, the fact is that they were simply very unlucky.  They never seemed to get the bounce of the ball and lost possession on numerous occasions within a yard of the goal-line.  The Rainey scrum was never in trouble, yet was penalised regularly, while a succession of baffling decisions had the crowd on the referee's back long before half-time.

SONI Ulster League 9th September 2017

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

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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.

Ulster Senior Cup 1st Round 2nd September 2017

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

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With a number of players not making themselves available for the early season games, Rainey Old Boys had to call on some unfamiliar faces for their first round Ulster Senior Cup against Banbridge at Hatrick Park.  The Rifle Park side proved to be far too good for them and were able to move up a gear when Rainey hit back to trail by only five points midway through the second half.  A late score gave Banbridge a 32-12 victory which takes them and the other first round winners Malone, Dungannon and Ballynahinch through to the second round stage.

SONI Ulster League 26th September 2017
Scorers: Pritchard(1*Try), McIlroy(1*Try,1*Conv)
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Ulster League points were on offer at Upritchard Park where Bangor and Rainey Old Boys met in Section B of the Soni Championship.  But, with the AIL programme now less than three weeks away, both sides were more interested in performance rather than points.  With the much-travelled Lewis Stevenson now at Player/Coach, Bangor have been encouraged by their pre-season form and the addition of  the former Ulster forward gives them a big pack whose dominance in the tight won the game for them on Saturday.  Rainey tried a number of permutations in the front five at Bangor and will hope that they can come up with an answer to their problems sooner rather than later.  Forced into living off scraps for much of the game, they played some very good rugby to get back into the picture, but a late score saw Bangor home on a 22-12 scoreline.