Randalstown RFC Notes: II XV 20 v Ards RFC III XV 17: REPORT LIVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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On a chilly afternoon at Neillsbrook there was little flowing rugby to warm the sizeable crowd as the 2nd XV made hard work of a stubborn Ards 3s.
The visitors have a good league record to date but the ‘Town 2s should have won by a more comfortable margin. Skipper Hyndman was happy that a less than perfect performance still produced a win against solid opposition.
Randalstown started brightly with an early chance to open the scoring via a Turner penalty, but the blustery conditions blew the attempt slightly off course. Michael Smith also went close early on only to be bundled into touch in sight of the line. Continuing to keep the visitors pinned in their own 22 paid dividends as ‘town got their first points on the board shortly after.
Despite being under pressure in the scrum Harris always made ground from the base and on this occasion linked well with Turner. The number 10 stepped nicely inside the defence line before popping to David Smith who strolled over for a try. Turner added the difficult conversion, and was on hand to convert a penalty opportunity shortly after, stretching the lead to 10-0.
The next 20 minutes summarised the home side’s performance overall – plenty of possession, posing serious threat to the opposition then making simple mistakes to turn over possession time and again.
Just before half time a great line out steal on their own 5 metre line courtesy of Timmy Montgomery gave ‘Town a chance to move the ball quickly. Again a combination of bad decisions and poor handling saw them concede ground before Michael Smith got the ball and made a decisive line break to scamper home. Turner again converted.
Ards however hit straight back with a try out wide after their number 8 powered through a number of tackles in midfield. Although ‘Town still led 17-5 at the break they had to be disappointed not to be further ahead particularly with the advantage of the conditions.
Ards scored again within 5 minutes of the restart to further reduce the deficit. Eventually after some good work by Turner Smith and Hamilton Randalstown were awarded another penalty which Turner converted.
The visitors remained dangerous and the closing stages were decidedly uncomfortable from a Randalstown point of view. Ards decided to run a series of penalties inside the home 22 and eventually breached the defence for a converted score. ‘Town managed to hang on for the remaining few minutes to secure a victory in what was an unspectacular win, but still a win. Again the back row of Harris, Goodrich and Hume were the mainstay of the ‘Town effort.

Next week the senior teams are not in action but the Under 19s have a league fixture at Neillsbrook against Ballymena, kicking off at 2.30. Please come along and support the U19s. The Ireland v South Africa game will be on the big screen in the clubhouse afterwards.

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