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While Rainey Old Boys can feel well satisfied with their season to date, they know that a very demanding period lies ahead.  Three AIL fixtures, followed by two important SONI Ulster Premiership ties before Christmas will fully test them.


In order to be competitive in 2A, they had to replace several players with similar ability and add strength in depth to the squad.  This they managed to do, with the new faces settling in well and making an early impression.  The unexpected availability of lineout star Ronan McCusker has been a huge bonus and the form of young back-row Jack Bresland a real revelation.  If they can avoid long-term injuries, this Rainey squad is capable of holding its own in any company.


On Saturday, Rainey meet Queen's at The Dub and this could be a very entertaining affair.  The Old Boys were too strong up front when they beat the students at Hatrick Park in September, but the visitors will be nearer full strength for this one and they have the scoring power out wide to do damage if they can win enough ball.  They led leaders Barnhall 15-5 at a stage in their last outing, but conceded a very late try to be pipped 27-25 by the Kildare side.


Rainey then travel to Barnhall on December 7 and entertain Ballymena a week later.  The SONI Premiership resumes when the AIL takes a mid-season break.  On December 21, Banbridge come to  Hatrick Park for a vital clash which could determine who tops the table.


The other games in 2A this weekend are : Cashel  v  Nenagh     Barnhall  v  U.L.Bohemian     Dolphin  v  Buccaneers    Old Crescent  v  Ballymena


The only other senior Rainey team in action this week are the 2nd XV who play Dromore II at home.  Although they should account for the Co Down side to remain well clear at the top of the table, the match is liable to be a feisty encounter well worth supporting by anyone not travelling to The Dub.