U20 Friendly 6th September 2017

Scorers: K.Lynch(1*Try), C.Lawrence(1*Try), T.Andrews(1*Try), J.Lloyd-Evans(1*Conv), (1*Pen Try)


The recently formed Rainey OB U20s had their first proper outing of the season last Wednesday, going down 31-26 to Ballymoney at Kilraughts Road. With an emphasis on expansive, running rugby by both teams, the spectators were treated to an absolute try-fest.

In typical fashion, the home side exerted all the early pressure, being held up over the line twice, before finally cracking the Rainey defence with a converted try.  From the restart, Rainey finally got their hands on the ball, and with some great interlinking play forced their way downfield.  Belying their unfamiliarity as a team, they ran the Ballymoney defence ragged, spreading the ball wide at every occasion, before Lynch finally broke through with a great jinking run to score in the corner.

From the restart, they were off again, repeating the process and a few minutes later, Lawrence caught a wayward pass around his ankles and dived over in the same spot for Rainey’s second.  Lloyd-Evans landed the conversion.

Next it was the forwards turn, with McSwiggan and Murphy powering up the middle, Ballymoney bodies hanging off them. The ball went wide a few times and then Andrews crashed over to the left of the posts.  The conversion was good.

At 19 – 7 with 30 mins gone, many thought the game was going to turn into a rout, but Ballymoney had other ideas.  Finally getting the ball back, they cruised through some poor first-up tackling, as they Rainey players unfamiliarity with each other and lack of defensive structure was revealed.  The inevitable result was a converted try, and another unconverted one soon followed to leave the teams tied on 19-19 at the break.

With their tails up, Ballymoney added two more tries and a conversion in the third quarter as the Rainey defence struggled to hold them.  Now the shoe was on the other foot and the home side were threatening a rout of their own.  Rainey rallied however and once again pushed the home side unto the defensive.  A high tackle on Lloyd-Evans as he was heading for the corner resulted in a penalty try, and Ballymoney were forced to finish out the game with 14 men.  In the failing light, Rainey were overambitious with some of their passing and took a few wrong options in attack.  Although they finished strongly, they were unable to add to their tally and Ballymoney finished 31 – 26 winners.

With a new coaching setup due to be announced, this team oozes potential.  As they get to know each other’s style of play and get the defensive issues sorted out, they are sure to serve up some entertaining mid-week rugby throughout the coming months.


SQUAD: G.Hall, A.Brown, R.Murray, M.Friel, A.Hunter, K.Lynch, L.Quinn, J.Lloyd-Evans, F.Quinn, T.Andrews, A.McSwiggan, C.McCann, R.Doherty, C.Lawrence, N.Hastings, C.Murphy, A.Walker, M.Gordon, M.Mulholland, T.McNicholl, M.Lynn