Provincial 1 16th February 2019

Scorers: Hall(2*Try), Moran(1*Try), Hastings(1*Try), Smyth(1*Try), Quinn(1*Try), Kearns(1*Pen, 4*conv)



In Provincial 1, Rainey II maintained their lofty position by beating Harlequins II by 41-0 at Deramore.  Playing with a strong wind at their backs in the first half, Rainey struggled to put phases together.  Several times they were camped in the Harlequins 22’, but simply couldn’t get across the line.  They were also guilty of some poor tackling, continually wrestling for the ball and allowing the opposition to make good yardage.  In their own 22’ however, their defence was resolute and Harlequins never looked like scoring.  Eventually they broke the deadlock when Kearns slotted over an easy penalty, but that was to be the only score in the half.


Turning around with only a 3 point deficit and a wind advantage, Harlequins were confident a win was within their grasp, but how wrong they were.  Rainey finally started to play and began to dismantle the Harlequins defence at will.  A great series of drives by Caithness and O’Neill culminated with Prop Smyth giving a lovely offload to send Out-half Hall in close to the posts, giving Kearns an easy conversion. 


Rainey were now completely dominant, in both the set-piece and open play.  Following a great take from the restart by Fullback Devlin, the forwards rampaged down the middle of the park, with No8 Smyth and Second-Row Higgins to the fore.  When the ball was flashed right, Kearns released Moran on the wing to canter into the corner for Rainey’s second.  Kearns landed a brilliant conversion into the wind.


Back they came again, with a great bullocking run from No8 Smyth, and when Nevin was held up just short, Hastings was on hand to pick up and dive over the line, Kearns again adding the extras.  The bonus point came shortly afterwards.  Centre Browne charged up the middle, before the ball was sent left.  Andrews had a good carry, and the ball eventually came to Prop Smyth who dived over in the left corner.

They added their fifth following a good lineout take by Hastings.  The ball went out across the backs and a ruck was formed in front of the Harlequins posts.  Livewire scrum-half Quinn, who had been a thorn in the side of the Deramore men all day, spotted a gap and darted though for a straightforward touchdown.  Winger Scullion had a great break down the left wing, before Hall added the sixth and final score under the posts following good work by Moran, with Kearns’ conversion drawing the game to a close.


While the first half is best forgotten, in the second half the team served up some wonderfully entertaining rugby, with Stewart and Doherty outstanding in loose play and McErlean having a couple of good drives and steadying the scrum at a crucial time. 


Team: Devlin, Moran, Browne, Kearns, Scullion, Hall, Quinn, Smyth, O’Neill, Nevin, Doherty, Higgins, Caithness, Smyth
Subs: McErlean, Andrews, Stewart.