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Weather permitting, Rainey Old Boys will play Dungannon at Hatrick Park on Thursday night (7.45 pm).  This Sony Ulster Premiership League fixture has been brought forward to enable players and spectators to see the international on television on Saturday.  While it is of little importance to either club, they will be hoping to serve up a more entertaining spectacle than they managed when they met in a recent AIL game.  Rainey could take the opportunity to use some players who have been sidelined by short-term injuries.  Scrum-half Jason Bloomfield has not played since before Christmas, versatile back Andrew Donaghy broke a thumb at Wanderers and full-back Michael O'Neill had to retire against Dungannon after taking a bang to the head.

 

Belfast Harlequins come to Magherafelt on March 24 for an AIL game which Rainey cannot afford to lose.  The Old Boys won at Deramore in September, but failed to bank the bonus point that was there for the taking.  They lost an Ulster League game just after Christmas with an experimental lineout on duty and should not underestimate an improving Deramore side which scored six tries at Barnhall last time out when they lost a remarkable contest 51-34.  They have yet to win in the league and Rainey must not slip up if they are to maintain their promotion challenge.

 

It would appear that the IRFU have re-arranged the Barnhall - Rainey game for March 17 and both clubs are up in arms at this decision.  A 1.00 pm kick-off time would mean Rainey leaving home at an unearthly hour.  March 31, although it is Easter Saturday, would be more acceptable date.  A definite date should be known by the weekend.

 

Rainey O.B. 2 are due to travel to Dromore 2 for a league game on Saturday.