Provincial League Div 1 7th September 2019
Scorers: McSwiggan(2*Try), Moran(1*Try), Rutledge(1*Try), Donaghy(1*Try), Harbinson(1*Try), Lloyd-Evans(2*Conv, 1*Pen), Evans(1*Conv)



For the second time in a fortnight, Dromore and Rainey’s second strings faced off against each other in the league opener at Barban Hill.  Unlike the previous occasion, when Rainey were understrength and points were not at stake, there was a very different outcome as Rainey ran out easy 8-39 winners.  It was by no means a flawless performance by the young side and their discipline must improve significantly if they are to be serious challengers for league honours.


In perfect conditions, the home side opened the stronger, pinning Rainey back in their own half.  Dromore were soon even more in charge, when Rainey were reduced to 14 men after out-half Hall was binned for obstructing a player following a quick tap-penalty, and they duly slotted the resultant shot at goal.  Fired up, the Rainey forwards stormed downfield, and when Dromore were penalised for infringing at a maul, they kicked to the corner, won the lineout and prop McSwiggan stormed over for Rainey’s opener.


A superb counterruck by prop Rutledge and a storming run by hooker O’Neill forced another penalty and scrum-half Lloyd-Evans made it 3-8.  A well-judged interception by winger Moran and another conversion by Lloyd-Evans made it 3-15 and the writing was on the wall for the home side.  Rainey’s dominant scrum was providing quality ball for the backs, and only good defence by Dromore, and a tendency to over-complicate play by the visitors stopped them from adding to their total.  Fullback Evans had a couple of great runs, and Rutledge stormed through before being superbly dispossessed with the line at his mercy.  The score had to come however, and on the cusp of half-time, Rutledge finally barged over, engulfed in Dromore defenders, after great driving by lock Doherty.   The conversion was good and Rainey turned around 3-22 in front.


Straight from the restart, they scored again.  A poor clearance kick from Dromore was fielded by Moran and he ripped the defence to shreds before the getting the ball to McSwiggan in support, who strolled over for his second try of the day.


To their credit, Dromore refused to submit, and gamely threw everything at Rainey, but disaster struck when they were reduced to 14 men, their fullback seeing red for a reckless kick at the head of winger Mulholland on the ground.  Scenting blood, the Rainey forwards rumbled back down the park, and a couple of phases later, winger Donaghy dived over in the corner. 


Dromore continued to throw everything at the Rainey defence, but they refused to let them pass, with big hits coming in all over the park, notably from replacements McErlain and Harbinson.  Locks Hastings and Doherty played their part, stealing Dromore lineout ball on several occasions. 


The pressure of the extra man had to tell, and after desperate Dromore defence on their line yielded a 5m scrum in front of the posts, the dominant Rainey pack destroyed their opponents and drove over for Harbinson to fall on the ball over the line.  Evans was successful with the conversion.  Dromore continued to attack relentlessly and were eventually rewarded with an unconverted try from the last play of the game.