Randalstown RFC Notes: I XV 3 v Grosvenor RFC I XV 3 + II XV 32 v BHSFP II XV 3: Reports LIVE HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Randalstown 1st XV 3 Grosvenor 1st XV 3

In their penultimate game of the season Randalstown knew that points were critical as they took on a Grosvenor side currently 3 places above them in the league and they really gave it their all in wet and muddy conditions at Neillsbrook on Saturday afternoon.

Whilst the scoreline suggests an even contest this was not in fact the case as the majority of the play came from the ‘Town men and they will undoubtedly be disappointed that it was not enough to come away with a win. They cannot however be disappointed in the performance which was gritty, determined and energy sapping stuff.

The only ‘Town score came with about 30 minutes played when Bailey in the out half slot for the second time gave a sweetly weighted pop pass to Goodrich in the centre and he barrelled through a couple of Grosvenor defenders to win the penalty which McCann converted.

Grosvenor eventually bagged a penalty of their own in the second half to even the scores and in the closing quarter of the game put considerable pressure on their hosts try line but, due to some stout Randalstown defence, came away empty handed.

It has been difficult on many occasions this season to select a man of the match but this afternoon the accolade must go to Dee Millar whose work rate was outstanding according to the general concensus of the support. Yet again coach Stevenson had to field several less experienced players due to the considerable injury list but that was never apparent from the performances as ‘Town to a man gave their all and then some.

Next Saturday the visitors to Neillsbrook will be Lisburn and Randalstown will hope that they can do enough to maintain their deserved place in Qualifying 2. No doubt they have learned hard lessons along the way this year, and but for some very marginal results would have been clear of relegation danger at this point. Kick off is as usual at 2.30 next Saturday and all support will be more than welcome in the final league game of the season.

Randalstown 2nd XV 32 BHSFP 2nd XV 3.

Randalstown 2nds continued their current winning run with a comfortable 32 – 3 win over BHSFP at Neillsbrook.

The prevailing conditions didn’t help either team settle to their task and the opening half hour was a scrappy dour affair. For the home side the only bright spot was the form of Emmet Crawford at full back, as his catching and kicking were top notch despite the weather.

High School opened the scoring with a penalty on the half hour in their first excursion into ‘Town territory. Randalstown hit back immediately putting the visitors under pressure from the restart and they coughed up a penalty which Turner converted to even the scores.

Just before half time ‘Town extended their lead with a perfectly executed move. Hyndman took fine ball off the top of the line out on High School’s 22. Cathcart and Turner then moved the ball on to McWhirter who sliced through the defence to touch down. Turner added the extras.

The second half saw continued improvement from ‘Town as they gradually turned the screw and moved the scoreboard along at regular intervals. A second Turner penalty was swiftly followed by a 2nd try as McWhirter intercepted on the half way and sprinted home. Again Turner converted.

The home side were now totally dominant getting on top in set pieces and camping themselves in the high school half. Only some dogged defending by the visitors was keeping ‘Town at bay but inevitably more scores came.

Adair Montgomery and Hyndman were all held up short before Cathcart managed to squeeze over beside the posts, leaving a relatively straightforward conversion for Turner.

A well controlled lineout on the High School 10 metre line let the pack rumble towards the line and skipper Hyndman peeled off and crashed over for the final score of the game.

This was a workman like performance from Randalstown, with the conditions not really allowing for any flair. Smith and Turner were always an attacking threat while Hyndman and Goodrich were the pick of a hard working pack.

Next Saturday the 2nd XV are also at home to Holywood 2nds and having defeated them just a few weeks ago in the Forster Cup, will hope to continue the current winning form.

The 3rd XV travelled to Armoy 2nd XV in their league, but unfortunately no referee appeared to have been allocated to the game so it was played out as a friendly. With a cup game in the offing the 3rds would have preferred a competitive outing so it is hoped that at least a run out to blow off a few cobwebs will have helped. The semi-final against Portadown 5ths has been rescheduled for next Saturday at Portadown, and the 3rd XV will be glad of all the support available.

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