Randalstown RFC Notes II XV 0 v Carrickfergus RFC III XV 21 + III XV 0 v Carrickfergus RFC IV XV 22 REPORTS

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Pictured: Carrick President and Danske Bank representatives with Randalstown president Derek Waddell.

Randalstown 2nd XV 0 Carrickfergus 3rd XV 21.

Randalstown welcomed representatives from Carrick and Danske Bank to the final pre-match lunch of 2013. Unfortunately the bonhomie was restricted to the clubhouse as the visiting Carrick side overpowered the ‘Town second string.
Weather conditions dictated the game, allowing little running rugby, but of which the visitors produced the best examples. Most of the game was a slug fest between the two packs, with the visitors again holding the upper hand. They used the conditions better, kicking for position and forcing ‘Town to work very hard to get out of their own half.
There were few scoring opportunites, with the home side’s only first half chance coming from a McCann penalty which just drifted past the upright.
Carrick deservedly opened the scoring after half an hour with an unconverted score after a tap penalty.
In the second half their wily half backs continued to pull the strings as the visitors dominated. The out half dropped a goal and converted two penalties to stretch the lead to 14 – 0. ‘Town were still trying hard but coming up against a stout defence and conceding too many penalties to make any headway.
With about 7 minutes remaining ‘Town, trying to run from their own 10 metre line, spilled the ball which was gathered by Carrick and they went over under the posts for a converted try.
Randalstown showed no lack of effort and determination, but came up against a more aggressive powerful unit on the day. Manager Sloane felt Mark Paine was the pick of the home side with a strong performance.
Team: P McCann B Winter E Crawford T Boyd R McGarry M Turner C McGlade S Adams R Loughlin B Hamilton S Hyndman S Goodrich C Ferry M Paine D Harris.

Meanwhile Randalstown 3rds made the journey to Carrick to take on their 4th XV and were on the end of a very similar scoreline to their 2nd XV colleagues going down 22-0.
Randalstown travelled with a skeleton side decimated by unavailability of many regulars leaving the management team of Aaron Murray and Tommy Devlin making up the 13 required to ensure the fixture was fulfilled.
Many positional changes were made and though the result was never going to be in doubt against a Carrick side going well in the league. While the result may have looked inevitable from the outset Carrick were shocked by the resistance put up by the thirteen brave souls in the red and white and only got in for their first score after about 15 minutes. Scrum half Scott Snow and fullback Willie Fleck tackled like demons and the pack battled for possession performing strongly all afternoon. Ball was turned over by the ‘town unit on a regular basis but the numerical disadvantage took a heavy toll. Carrick ran in two further tries to make it 17-0 at half time.

With great courage and spirit ‘town took the game to Carrick in the second half and were very close to scoring on several occasions, one being a cross field kick by hooker (and now centre) Robin Adair finding David Frew who was unlucky not to score. A great pick up and drive by the pack was just held up short of the line and also a rampaging run by hooker Pedro almost resulted in points on the board.
Carrick had only a solitary score in the second half and with the pitch now resembling a warzone the ref brought the game to a close after eighty minutes of bruising rugby. All the players deserve huge credit with many towering performances. Pedro Conceiaco had his best game of the season, Scott Snow got manager Devlin’s nod for man of the match just ahead of Willie Fleck, Robin Adair, John Allen and Hugh Bishop, who took great ball in the shortened lineout. Gary Paine back from injury had a solid game.
There was some consolation afterwards and Randalstown would thank Carrick for the now all so rare post match hospitality.
With two home matches coming up and a second round Mc Cambley cup fixture in the next three weeks selection will be a nightmare but with a buzz about the team it should be an exciting three weeks.

Team-Mark Mc Cullough, Pedro Conceiaco, Gary Paine, Tommy Devlin, Michael Reeves, Hugh Bishop, Aaron Murray, Scott Snow, Adam Service, David Frew, John Allen, Robin Adair, Willie Fleck

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