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Ulster Carpets U14 Youth Cup Final 
Rainey OB 14-17 Portadown


Portadown have won the 2017 Ulster Carpets U14 Youth Cup thanks to a thrilling 14-17 win over Rainey OB.  Despite leading 14-12 going into the last play, the young Magherafelt lads were denied the ultimate prize by a last gasp score by Portadown.

Portadown got off to a flying start on 4 minutes when No8 Callum Walker steamrolled through four attempted tackles to crash over under the posts, with Rhys Heasty adding the conversion to put his side 0-7 in front.

In the second quarter of the game Rainey stretched their opponents with some swift passes out wide, bringing play to within ten metres of the opposition line, but the Portadown defence managed to hold firm and prevent any further score before the interval.

Rainey drew level just two minutes after the restart when lock Fionn O'Donnell pounced to intercept a pass before beating the covering defence to slide over, then Adam Brown confidently dispatched the conversion.

On 43 minutes Portadown centre James Campbell scored a superb individual try, cutting in from the right wing to touch down.

With just a couple of minutes left on the clock, Rainey pressurized the Portadown defence high up the pitch, forcing a turnover for out-half Tom Crozier to stretch over and touch down. Another well struck conversion from Brown edged Rainey 14-12 in front as it looked like the Magherafelt side had done enough for the win.

However, with the very last play of the game Campbell burst through on the right wing, searing away from the cover for his second try to snatch the win for Portadown.

Congratulations must be offered to both sides for what was a fantastic game of youth rugby, played with huge endeavor and plenty of skill.  

Rainey OB U14 Team:
(15-9): Ruairi McGuigan, Jack Gregg, Callum McGlone, Conor Dyson, James Mawhinney, Tom Crozier, Ryan O'Kane;
(1-8): Ethan McClenaghan, Alaster Moore, Mark McCullagh, Wiktor Maksymillian, Fionn O'Donnell, Adam Brown, Mark Lee, Ben McCullagh (Capt).
Replacements: David McCleery, Ryan Harkness, Tiernan Loughran, Rohan Lennox, Ben Mackey.

 

In the other age grades, Virginia edged out Randalstown 12-7 in a tight U16 encounter, while as expected, Armagh U18s cantered past Letterkenny to an easy 53-7 victory to complete their hat-trick of local trophies.

Ulster Carpets Cup Semi-Final 22nd April 2007
Scores: Clarke(1*Try), McIntosh(1*Try), Kearns(2*Conv)

 

Rainey U18s ended their season at the Palace Grounds, Armagh, when they succumbed 27 – 14 to a strong Armagh U18s side widely acknowledged as the best youth side in Ulster rugby.  In a semi-final which most neutral observers viewed as the de-facto final of the Ulster Carpets Cup, Armagh showed due respect to Rainey by fielding their strongest possible team, ensuring all their senior players were available for the match.  In contrast, the Old Boys showed their continued ambivalence to the success of the youth section and refused to do likewise. Armagh were unable to hide their glee at this turn of events and in the end, it was to prove the only difference between the two teams.

Ulster Carpets Cup 1st April 2017
Scorers: Young(1*Try), Kearns(2*Try, 4*Conv), O'Neill(1*Try), Clarke(1*Try), Hall(1*Try), Smyth(2*Try), Totten(1*Try)
Photos


Rainey Old Boys U18s opened their Ulster Carpets Cup campaign last Saturday with a comfortable 53-5 win against Ballymoney.  The torrential rain earlier in the morning had thankfully cleared by kick-off, allowing some great flowing rugby to be played by both teams.

 

Kicking off into the breeze, Rainey were guilty of some early mistakes as their nerves seemed to get the better of them, but they quickly settled.  A great charge by second row McCann into the visitors’ 22m tied in the Ballymoney forwards and when out-half O’Neill released Smyth, he cleverly drew the tackle and released winger Young to score in the corner.  The conversion by Kearns was good. 

Ulster Carpets Cup 8th April 2017
Scorers: Lawrence(3*Try), Smyth(1*Try), Kearns(1*Conv)

 

Rainey Old Boys U18s successfully progressed to the semi-finals of the Ulster Carpets Cup with a 22-5 win over a tenacious Omagh Academicals side, including a hat-trick by hooker Christian Lawrence.

 

Rainey started the game in ferocious tempo, with the forwards carrying and rucking like men possessed.  They quickly forced a lineout in their opponents 22m and following a great carry by second-row Molloy, the ball was swung right to Hooker Lawrence who ran strongly and dived over in the corner for his first of the day.