AIB League 3: Queens University 44 Rainey Old Boys 0

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Saturday 20th February. James Barr reports.

Dub Lane was free of fog and frost, allowing Queen’s University to take another step towards the Division 3 title by beating Rainey Old Boys 44-0. If they beat Co.Carlow at Oak Park this week they move into top spot and have, on paper at least, an easier run in than their only challengers Midleton.

The winter sunshine and firm underfoot conditions were taylor-made for the high-scoring students who were helped on their way by some errors from the visitors that were to prove costly. After only four minutes a Rainey clearance was kicked directly to touch handing the opposition the throw well inside the Rainey 22. They moved it along the line and then back again for centre  Arneill to score in the corner. Queen’s looked the part as they piled on the pressure and Suiter was sin-binned for an offence which Porter, on the bench at Ravenhill the previous evening, punished from close range.

Rainey defended well and slowly establish a foothold in the game and a great kick from Martin, followed by good forward play that brought them two penalties, took them into the corner. Rainey chose to go long at the lineout and lost control. Still a man short, Rainey sliced a clearance for Queen’s to punch holes through the middle before going wide and then inside again for flanker Hooks to score at the posts. Rainey prop Mc Dowell then broke up to the home 22 but lacked immediate support and the Upper Malone lads were soon back in the Rainey 22. Held up twice, Queen’s had a third put-in, but they were driven off the ball by a tremendous drive from the Old Boys pack. Hawe brought off a great tackle along the line as Rainey again found themselves stretched. They then had a good little spell and went right from a scrum in the Queen’s 22 but the ball went to ground and the chance was lost.

Rainey held Queen’s out for another thirteen minutes, but,after making a number of changes they collapsed to concede five tries in the last half hour. Their scrum remained solid, but they were a distant second best in every other department, spilling too much ball in the contact area. While Rainey missed captain Richard Mc Crea, Queen’s were without Ulster centre Jonny Shiels and Ireland Under 20 out-half James Mc Kinney. The Queen’s men were hardly missed as they switched the versatile Pyper to number 10 and brought in former international Jonny Bell. Later in the game scrum-half Porter was carried off with an ankle injury, but they had the luxury of calling on Neil Doak and moving Pyper inside.

Queens v Rainey Pictures

Wing Campbell picked up Queen’s third try before Rainey briefly threatened when Devlin broke out of defence and kicked upfield. Hawe gave chase and play moved to near the Queen’s line before the cover dealt with the problem.Rainey enjoyed their best spell of the match with some very spirited play until Suiter was dispossessed outside the Queen’s 22. Queen’s quickly exploited the situation to break out and feed Campbell who raced clear from halfway. Two more tries from No.8 and captain Robinson and left-wing Mayne in the next five minutes saw the score soar to 39-0. Campbell completed his hat-trick in injury time.

Barnhall were the only side in the bottom half of the table to get a point on Saturday. Rainey have three AIL games left, starting with Instonians at Hatrick Park on March 6.

TEAM : R Paul, A Campbell, T Dodunski, N Suiter, R Devlin, G Martin, R Paul, S Mc Dowell, S Sufferin, N O’Kane, C Lavery, P Stewart, C Brennan, D Dawson, S Hawe.

REPLACEMENTS : J Mc Bride ( Dodunski 40 ) K Campton ( Stewart 46 ) R Hill ( O’Kane 53 ) C Donaghy ( Sufferin 65 ) S Sufferin ( Mc Dowell 81 )


Former Rainey flanker Evan Stewart is making a name for himself in England.Captain of Loughborough University last season,he has been playing for National 2 North side Macclesfield who are on course for promotion while doing a P.G.C.E.course in the North of England.The Moneymore man has been chosen as captain of the English Universities side,a notable achievement.

AIB League 3 Results: WEEK 12

Banbridge 23-12 Portadown

Co.Carlow 28-42 Sunday’s Well

Instonians 27-13 Ards

Midleton 26-12 Connemara

Naas 6-15 Wanderers

Navan 25-24 Barnhall

Nenagh Ormond 19-7 Suttonians

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