Ulster Carpets U18 North 25th November 2017
Scorers: Young(1*Try, 1 Conv), Molloy(1*Try), McGlone(1*Try), Murray(1*Try), Friel(2Try), Diamond(1*Try)


Rainey U18s had their sternest test of the season so far when they came up against Letterkenny in the league last Saturday.  In the end, they ran out comfortable 37 - 5 winners, but they were made to work hard for their victory by the Donegal men.  Rainey can look back on some missed opportunities and handling errors which took the gloss off the performance, but all said and done, it was a good day at the office.


The early exchanges were fairly evenly matched, before out-half Friel drove play downfield with a huge clearance kick and the Rainey backs were up quickly to force a penalty.  When it was tapped and fed left, Letterkenny scrambled to hold the ball up over the line, but from the resultant scrum, No8 Molloy drove for the line, drawing in the Letterkenny defence, and then the backs moved it wide for winger Young to go in at the corner.


The game then see-sawed, neither side gaining superiority, until a great take from a lineout on the 22' by Clarke allowed Rainey to set a maul.  Stout Letterkenny defence prevented progress, but scrum-half Murray read the situation well and darted through for a fine individual try, converted by Young. They added another when a quick tap penalty was fed to Clarke, who made good yards up the middles, before off-loading to Molloy who finished off under the posts with three Letterkenny defenders attached.


Letterkenny were down, but not out.  Some good work in mid-field allowed the scrum-half to nip through a gap at the side of a ruck and sprint towards the corner.  Only a great covering tackle by fullback McCann prevented a certain try. Letterkenny kept the pressure on, but great Rainey defence eventually forced a penalty and allowed them to clear their lines.

The second half started with good Rainey pressure, but twice Letterkenny were able to snaffle the ball and hoof it downfield only to have it returned by McCann as he tore their midfield apart.  Again and again they pressed, before McGlone drove over for Rainey's fourth try.  The Hatrick park men were now in full flight and camped in the Letterkenny half.  Again and again y pressed, before Friel finally collected the ball in space, broke through and dived over to the left of the posts.


Rainy pressed yet again, but an interception 10m from the Letterkenny line seemed to have given the visitors a chance to open their account.  McCann had other ideas, and in the play of the game, he chased the sprinter down, felling him with a last ditch tap tackle just short of the line.  Rainey tried to clear their lines following the 5m scrum, but conceded a penalty which Letterkenny took quickly and spread wide for the winger to dance through some slack defence for a score.


Back came Rainey, and when they won a ruck on the 10m line, it was spread wide for winger Diamond to Diamond to cross for Rainey's sixth, and they added a seventh when Friel collected a poor clearance kick from a 5m lineout and dived over for his second of the day.