Rainey RFC Notes: Dawson McConkey, A Friend Passes + Reports From Across The Club + Pictures Of I & II XV v Armagh RFC

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The rugby fraternity in Ulster, and particularly in South Derry, has been deeply saddened by the recent passing of Dawson McConkey. His influence and contribution at all levels of the game has been immense and his name is well respected in rugby circles throughout the land.

A native of Ballynahinch, he enjoyed Schools’ Cup success at Methodist College and went on to captain Collegians. As PE teacher at the Rainey, he produced a succession of great sides which put Magherafelt on the rugby map. Rainey shared the Cup in 1963 and won it four years later when Dawson was an Ulster Schools selector.

Dawson ended his playing career with the Old Boys as player/coach and looked on with pride as they became one of the best Junior clubs in the province. He was later invited to coach Junior Ulster and was Tour Manager when Rainey went to the Bahamas in 1982.

Apart from the playing side, Dawson was always willing to do his bit for the club in any capacity and was a great clubman and ambassador. He was especially delighted that the elusive Towns’ Cup came to Magherafelt in 1983 while he was Chairman. It was only natural that he should serve as Club President and he later lent his experience to the Irish Colleges squad.

Magners Junior 4 League·7th January 2012
Scorers: Moran(1*Try, 2*Pen, 3*Conv), Donnelly(1*Try), McNamee(1*Try)

After the holiday break, although Rainey II looked decidedly rusty in the first half hour of their Junior 4 encounter with City of Derry at Judges Road where underfoot conditions were remarkably firm, they·got the New Year off to a winning start by completing the league double over their county rivals in a hard fought victory.

An early penalty gave Derry the lead before a timely tap tackle denied Rainey out-half Irvine. Full-back Moran levelled matters before Derry assumed control.

Although excellent defending lead by C.McNamee kept Derry from registering the first try of the day, Rainey made little impression as their indiscipline saw them penalised several times and brought them a warning from the referee. When prop Hutchinson was the unlucky one to be yellow carded, it did not look good for Rainey, but in his absence they were gifted fourteen points.

Firstly, with Rainey gradually getting more and more into the game, C.Moran took a great intercept pass twenty yards from his own line and had the legs to race the length of the pitch to score under the posts before also adding the conversion. A few minutes later M.Donnelly decided he would show everybody he could do the same, this time scorching past a couple of Derry defenders on his way to the try line. Derry looked likely to score just on half-time, but a great turnover allowed Rainey to clear the danger.

Moran made Derry’s task harder when he drilled home a fine penalty, while Derry struck back with a try of their own to close the gap. Moran obliged again when centre Montgomery was brought down in front of the posts and Derry transgressed.

With C.McIvor, M.Montgomery and G.McGuckin in particular constantly breaking tackles and Davis and Hutchinson giving their support a good target, Rainey remained in control and it wasn’t long before their constant pressure was rewarded with a scrum ten metres out from the Derry line. C.Patterson picked and went right, setting up a ruck, from where C.Magee fired the ball wide to K.Irvine who set up another ruck near the corner. A quick pop to the oncoming C.McNamee and it was try number three. Moran added the points with another well-judged kick.

The game petered out in the last fifteen minutes as indiscipline crept into both sides, with Derry finishing with a disputed try in the corner in the last few minutes of the game.

Rainey can now look forward to the first round of the Forster Cup at home to Ophir II next week. All support is very welcome.

TEAM: I.Hutchinson, G.McGuckin, D.McCann, I.Patterson, A.Davis, C.McIvor, C.McNamee, C.Patterson, C.Magee, K.Irvine, R.Paul, M.Montgomery, M.Donnelly, JP.Clayton, C.Moran

Butler Shield 7th January 2012
Scorers: Coleman(1*Try), Scullion(1*Try), McBride(1*Try), Holgate(1*Try), Walker(2*Conv)

Rainey OB IV had no shortage of raw potential on duty for their Butler Shield clash with Donaghadee III, a fixture switched to Regent House School when the posts at the coastal club were a victim of the recent high winds.

The vastly experienced Gary Coleman came out of retirement for this one and opened the scoring when he picked up at the base of a scrum to force his way over. Full-back McBride then sent Scullion in at the corner leaving Walker to convert. From a five metre scrum, McBride side-stepped his way through to put them 17-0 ahead.

Midway through the second half, replacement Holgate stretched their lead when out-half Devlin created an opening. In the last play of the game, Dee picked up a consolation try

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