NUTTY KRUST 2011: SEMI FINAL 2: Rainey Old Boys Rugby U19 I XV 20 v Omagh Rugby U19 I XV 19: IN Pictures + Video Highlights from both sides + Interviews: An absolutely Cracking Game! Report & Man Of The Match To Follow + More Pictures

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Rainey 20 Omagh 19

Rainey emerged as winners from a cracking semi final tussle with Omagh in Thursday’s Nutty Krust semi final. In a match bristling with enterprising play by both sides the large crowd in attendance were kept on tenderhooks right up to the final whistle.
Rainey set their stall out early as they attacked from the kick off but Omagh weathered the early onslaught and gradually gained the upper hand gaining good field position from the astute kicking of full back Neil Mellor. Gaining good possession from a scrum in the 22 Omagh, number 8 Gary Sherrard, whose breaks from the base caused problems all night, made inroads into the Rainey defence and off loaded to centre Matthew Eccles who touched down to the right of the posts for Mellor to add the conversion giving Omagh a 7-0 lead after 20 minutes.
A terrific restart kick by Rainey out half Kieran Devlin was spilled by Omagh giving possession to Rainey. Omagh then conceded a penalty at the breakdown which Devlin took quickly. His sidestepping run saw him run in under the posts untouched. He added the conversion to level the match at 7-7.
Omagh responded immediately and a well angled kick by out half Lee Warnock saw them gain foothold 5 metres from the Rainey line. A great lineout steal on the Rainey throw led to a fine individual try by Warnock which remained unconverted thus giving Omagh a 12-7 lead.
Omagh once again failed to deal with Devlin’s fine restart kick and they were almost made to pay for their error as another fine Devlin break should have led to a try but unfortunately for Rainey, with the line at their mercy, the pass was spilled. Omagh were relying on the long boot of Mellor and the pick ups from the base of the scrum by Shrerard to relieve Rainey’s relentless pressure. Time and again Devlin, who benefitted from the crisp service of scrum half, Andrew Donaghy, cut them open with incisive breaks and deft off loads but survive they did going into half time with a 5 point lead.
The second half was played at the same high pace as the first with Rainey continuing where they had left off-in attack. A strong midfield break by centre Damien Mc Murray led to a penalty which Devlin converted to narrow Omagh’s lead to 12-10. Rainey, with their tails up, were in complete control at this stage and it was no surprise when Devlin once again got in behind their defence and off loaded to the supporting Aaron Kearney who scored close to the posts. Devlin added the extra two points to give Rainey a 17 -12 lead.
This seemed to sting Omagh into action and it was their number 10, Warnock, well supported by centre Eccles who asserted a period of control. Eccles strong running saw the Omagh forwards start to dominate at the breakdown and the slick passing of scrum half Richard Elkin ensured the Omagh backs were supplied with quick ball and one of their numerous attacks was finished off in style by out half Warnock whose side stepping run saw him score close to the posts. Full back Mellor, who had a fine game, added the conversion giving Omagh a 19-17 lead with time running out.
Once again Omagh turned over ball at the restart allowing Rainey the opportunity to attack. Tenacious Omagh defence, in which Man of the Match, Eccles was outstanding, kept Rainey at bay but as they controlled the ball and went through the phases Omagh were eventually penalised on their 10 metre line and Devlin stepped up to slot a well struck penalty. 20-17 to Rainey but this match was finished yet! Back came Omagh determined to make it through to the final. They were awarded a penalty out near the touchline and a hush fell over Chambers Park as Mellor stepped up to take the kick. Was there to be another change of lead? Unfortunately for Omagh the kick drifted wide in the wind leaving a delighted and relieved Rainey to progress through to the Nutty Krust final on Wednesday 4 May.

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