Friendly 24th August 2019
Scorers: G.Hall(2*Try), Kearns(1*Try, 3*Conv), Devlin(1*Try), McErlain(1*Try)



In glorious sunshine, Rainey II battled their way to a 31-29 victory over their Dromore counterparts at Hatrick Park last Saturday in a pre-season friendly.  With much to be improved upon, especially in their defensive structure, they showed great flair in attack, crossing their opponents’ line on five occasions.


Although they started strongly, Rainey were soon under pressure, until a break by flanker B.Hall carried play to the Dromore 22’.   The ball was recycled quickly and two phases later, the defence was carved open by out-half G.Hall to cross for the first of his two tries on the day.


Their lead didn’t last long.  Poor defensive cover allowed a simple chip and chase by the Dromore winger into the corner, and a superb conversion took the visitors two points clear.  The deficit was soon seven points when a series of poor tackle attempts let the visitors through again.


Upping the intensity, Rainey pressed forward, battering their way to the Dromore 22’.  The visitors’ defence held firm for a several plays as the Rainey forwards pounded away at the line, with Hooker O’Neill leading by example.  Scrum-half Quinn tried to snipe through a gap in the defensive line, but was hauled down, before the ball was fed right and centre Kearns crashed over for Rainey’s second try.


Once more, the response from Dromore wasn’t long in coming.  Pinning Rainey back in their half, the Dromore backs eventually engineered a replica try to their first, the same winger chipping the Rainey defence and easily winning the race to touch down.


Turning around, Rainey started the second half strongly, with the front-row of McIntosh, McErlain and Andrews all making good yards.  A nice reverse pass from G. Hall to B.Hall opened up the Dromore defence, and when the ball was recycled, lock Devlin stormed over from 10m.  The conversion from Kearns brought the sides level.  Rainey drew ahead shortly afterwards when G.Hall intercepted a loose Dromore pass and ran in an easy score under the posts, to give Kearns a simple conversion.


Dromore came back strongly, keeping play in the Rainey half.  Although Rainey stemmed the tide, with Hastings stealing a couple of attacking lineouts, once again the home side’s poor tackling let them down and the visitors added another straightforward score to tie the scores.


With the Dromore team visibly tiring, Rainey made another sortie downfield.  Soon they were within the Dromore 22’ and after several drives for the line were repulsed, the ball was fed to prop McErlain.  He was not to be stopped so close to the posts.  The easy conversion by Kearns proved to be the crucial difference between the sides, as with the game drawing to a close, Dromore added another unconverted try 2mins from the end.  Thankfully, Rainey were able to close out the game with no further threats to their line.