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A late try from full-back Mark O’Connor calmed the nerves of their away support at sunny Musgrave Park where Rainey Old Boys beat Sunday’s Well 27-16 in a vital fixture which both sides had to win to stay in the promotion race.There may have been a lack of quality at times,but there was no shortage of drama and Rainey had to dig deep to come out on top after the sin-binning of durable prop Amos in the final quarter.The Well,winners at Hatrick Park last season,proved,as expected,to be difficult opponents,especially in the tight where the Moynihan brothers made a formidable front-row trio.The experience of No.8 McCrea was required on several occasions at the back of the scrum where,with colleagues Hawe and Heaney,he came to Rainey’s rescue with some great tidying up work.
The Well had first use of a light diagonal breeze blowing towards the Dolphin end and out-half O’Shea needed no invitation to use it.With the playing surface in pristine condition,both sides sought to put width on the ball,but the action was largely confined to midfield and neither line was threatened in the opening quarter.O’Connor opened the scoring after six minutes from long range,but O’Shea replied two minutes later.A great forward drive led to another O’Connor penalty,but he blotted his copybook when he dropped a high kick from O’Shea and the ball popped up into the hands of centre Devane who sauntered through for a try at the posts.A straight forward penalty chance was lost when advantage was played and Rainey coughed up possession after pouring into the Cork side’s 22′.They defended well when Well took a heel against the head and Martin and Boyle combined to gain ground,only for scrum-half Sciascia’s kick for position to go directly into touch.

Shiels almost got away before Rainey found themselves on the retreat when the Well pack drove them off their own ball.The last two minutes of the half brought Rainey two penalties which O’Connor kicked to put them 12-10 ahead..Centre MacMahon,who has been a key acquisition,but is now destined for India,helped earn the first and a deliberate knock-on presented O’Connor with his second opportunity close to the touchline.
Rainey started the second period in promising style,but nearly yielded an interception.Then Kiwi Sciascia,watched by his parents who are here on holiday,put his stamp on the occasion with a marvellous solo try which almost defied belief.Breaking from a scrum on the Well 22′,he squirmed out of several tackles to cross halfway out.O’Connor then found the target to put Rainey 20-10 in front and they might have added to their tally when Paul and Suiter chased Sciascia’s little chip through into space but were beaten by a cruel bounce.
Things began to go wrong for Rainey when Amos was yellow carded after 64 minutes.O’Shea landed the penalty and obliged again five minutes later when Rainey,instead of taking the easy option and going for territory,ran the ball and got themselves into trouble.Paul saw a drop at goal fall just short before Mc Crea stood out again with a great piece of work at a ruck on his own 22′.Mc Crea made his mark again in the last minute when he and Sciascia set the opposition back in their own 22′ and O’Connor took a long pass from Martin to go in for a lovely try which he converted.
TEAM : M,O’Connor,P.Suiter,J.Mac Mahon,R.Paul,M.Mc Clelland,G.Martin,P.Sciascia,N.Amos,S.Sufferin,N.O’Kane,P.Boyle,M.Shiels,P.Heaney,R.Mc Crea,S.Hawe.
REPLACEMENTS : K.Donaghy,R.Hall,R.Devlin.

Division 3 results – 26 March
Barnhall 36-3 Ards City of Derry 30-23 Instonians Connemara 16-35 Nenagh Ormond Greystones 40-15 Naas Navan 10-37 Seapoint Suttonians 34-27 Wanderers

FIXTURES for 2 April
Ards v Sunday’s Well Highfield v City of Derry Instonians v Connemara Naas v Banbridge Navan v Suttonians Nenagh Ormond v Barnhall Rainey O.B. v Wanderers Seapoint v Greystones

Rainey now have two games left to play – Wanderers ( h ) and Suttonians ( a ),who won when the Dublin clubs met last week.Wanderers beat Rainey at Merrion Road last season,but have had a very disappointing run this time round when they were expected to make an impact.Banbridge,whose game with Highfield was postponed due to a funeral,now lead Rainey by one point.

1st XV v Wanderers home 2.30 p.m.
2nd XV v Civil Service home
3rd XV v Ards 111 home
4th XV v U.U.C. 11 away

Under 19 Roland Barr Trophy : Rainey 39-9 Clogher Valley
Under 15 Brewin Dolphin Bowl : Lisburn 0-19 Rainey

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