The 44th annual Randalstown 15-a-side tournament took place on Saturday afternoon. Randalstown were delighted to have the afternoon sponsored by ‘Studio Bathrooms’ at Stevenson & Reid.
It was an afternoon best glossed over from a Randalstown point of view, but even reduced to 6 teams this year due to late cry offs, it was still keenly contested and deservedly won by a strong Coleraine team.
As usual it took a strong team of volunteers to ready the Neillsbrook stronghold for the afternoon, having spent most of the week clearing up after the hugely successful White Collar Boxing Night, but ready they were and despite fairly inclement conditions there was a bit of rugby to enjoy from the ‘Stand’
The hosts, fielding a young side, disappointingly failed to register a win in their group games going down initially to Holywood in the opener 3-0. Next up came Academy and this was a livelier affair. ‘Town started well and took the lead courtesy of a David McWhirter penalty, but they were soon pegged back by a dogged Academy side who ran out 7-3 winners in the end.
That was sufficient to see the Neillsbrook men go into a 5/6th place playoff against Larne. Again there was little to choose between the sides. ‘Town took the lead when Rothwell and James Millar pressurised the Larne outhalf into a mistake behind his own line and Rothwell got the touchdown. Larne hit back quickly however with a try of their own to square the game. Honours even it finished.
The semi finals saw Coleraine edge past a valiant Holywood team (who must have been pleased with this pre-season run out against opposition they will face again in the not too distant future) while Carrick put Academy to the sword.
The superior strength of Coleraine saw them home against Carrick in the final and there is a new name on the Cup this year.
Next Saturday sees Randalstown 2nds & 3rds kick off their league campaigns at home against Instonians 3rds and Malone 5ths respectively. For those who missed the boxing last week there will be a special screening of the highlights in the clubhouse after the games.
Saturday evening sees Mr Eamon ‘King Kane’ O’Kane in action at the Odyssey Arena in the run up to the Frampton Fight. Eamon took time out from his training schedule last week to officiate at the White Collar Boxing and such was the impact he made, all at Randalstown will be in his corner on Saturday evening.
As usual all are welcome in the clubhouse where refreshments (including food) will be available.