Clogher Valley RFC Notes: Good displays from two weakened sides which bodes well for the coming season: “Big Lee Memorial” Game Report

2 minutes, 38 seconds Read

In this annual preseason “Big Lee Memorial” game Valley gave a good performance despite being significantly under strength with 7 regulars missing. Rainey 42 vs 12 Clogher Valley RFC. This, and the loss of other players, meant that in the customary 2nd XV fixture prior to the main game, Valley 2nds had gone down to a heavy defeat against Rainey 2nds. However 2nds Captain Donaldson and Manager Richmond will take heart from the performance of the younger players who had made the step up from U19’s last season. Carruth at scrum half had a particularly good game whilst McKenna, Trainor and others will have added to their rugby knowledge.
Rainey had an excellent season in AIL 2B last season and were a little unlucky not to be promoted. They had recruited a significant number of new players including ex Ulster second row Tim Barker and full back Mark O’Connor, back from a season in England. In their captain Ulster U20 Captain Michael Shields at flanker they had the stand out player of the game. When he retired injured, with what appeared to be a hamstring tear, in the final quarter the teams were much more evenly matched. The Rainey Supporters will be hoping that the injury will not be too serious.
It was Valleys first competitive game of the new season and with so many changes it was expected that Rainey would be too strong. However, from the kick off Valley took the game to Rainey and opened the scoring after only 2 minutes when No 8 Rodney Bennett burst through after a series of good rucks and mauls. As expected Rainey came back strongly but Valley continued to match them.
The Valley line out with Sharkey and Grieves was working well and the scrum always had Rainey under pressure with prop Moore particularly impressive. Rainey had the edge at the breakdown with Shields prominent. The Rainey backs were slick and ran some excellent lines but the Valley defence held out. Winger McClure stopping Rainey in their tracks a number of times with his customary “hits”.
Rainey managed their first try after 15 minutes but the fact that they then started to take penalty kicks to goal indicated the nature of the Valley defiance. With O’Connor kicking everything and another try the score board kept ticking over and Rainey led 30-5 at half time.
In the second period Rainey added two more tries but the Valley side never gave up and spent the last 10 minutes of the game in the Rainey 22. Eventually Bennett was able to crash over for a consolation try in the dying moments.
The score did not fairly reflect the Valley effort. However Rainey were very sharp at taking their chances whilst Valley missed some of theirs. Nevertheless the Valley Coaching team will take a lot of positives from the game. Armstrong at out half in his first senior game played very well, Stafford at full back had an excellent game when tested and the pack with Captain BJ Wilson held their own for long periods of the game.
Next week the 1st XV are at Omagh in the annual “John Rainey Cap” game. The 2nds have no game.

Similar Posts