Randalstown RFC Notes

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Randalstown 1st XV 91 Holywood 1st XV 0
Randalstown 1sts rounded off their season with a comprehensive victory over Holywood at Neillsbrook on Saturday afternoon. This leaves the 1st XV in 6th position overall in Qualifying 2, where there have been several results recorded against the formbook during the season. The bonus point system has also played a part in deciding the final placings and you could argue that it somewhat distorts the final picture. Randalstown for example have won and lost the same number of games as 4th placed Academy but Academy managed to notch up 10 bonus points throughout the season compared to Randalstown’s 5. Therein lay the difference between 4th and 6th place.
What can you say about a 91-0 victory – it was 3 points more than Randalstown recorded against Holywood away a few weeks ago and again the ‘Town men were seldom under any pressure from their opponents, in fact the total time Holywood spent in Randalstown territory was probably less than 10 minutes.
From the kick off ‘town were camped deep in the visitor’s territory but it was a full ten minutes before they broke the deadlock and McGlade ran in out wide. Goodrich followed when he took the ball on the 22 and barged through a few Holywood defenders before touching down, again out wide. Both the tricky conversions sailed wide of the uprights.
Despite a mix up between David Smith and David Millar at the restart gifting Holywood a lineout Wilson was up to disrupt and Chris Donnelly took play straight back down the field. McGlade and Goodrich combined well and Goodrich was the man who finished off the move with another unconverted try.
A short time later David Smith found space and trundled in before he and Garry Irwin made way for Hurrell and Adair. Hurrell was straight into the action and linked with Stevenson and Wilson. The ball was retained and recycled and McGlade was able to dribble through, chase up and touch down. With the fifth try from almost the same position as the previous four McGlade found his range and slotted over the touchline conversion to stretch the lead to 27-0.
As half time approached it was all one way traffic and the turn of Michael Smith to get his name on the scoreboard as he ran in under the posts to leave a straightforward conversion for McGlade. The try of the match came next when Hurrell and Adair took the ball on from the restart, recycled and the ball was popped to hooker Stevenson who streaked in from the halfway. Before the half was out Goodrich went in for his hat-trick after great play by Bailey to leave the half time score 48-0.
The second half was well underway before the scoreboard was troubled again. Several ‘Town players almost made it over the line before Hurrell snaffled the ball and sneaked in. There followed a scrappy few minutes by Randalstown where they conceded a couple of penalties allowed Holywood to get up into home territory then Dan McGlade broke up the flank and Michael Smith was on hand to finish it off. McGlade converted.
It was the turn of Stevenson and Irwin to make the carry and Stevenson was stopped agonisingly short of the line but Bailey took the resulting penalty quickly and was able to run through the visiting defence with ease to touch down.
Hurrell got his brace and Wilson added to the ‘town tally. Peter Knowles was next up when as ‘town pushed Holywood off a scrum and the ball bobbled loose he was quickest to react. The final score of the afternoon was down to McGlade and he deservedly slotted over the tricky conversion.
There are always glimpses of promise and potential with the first XV, and all at Neillsbrook look forward to a well deserved break for a few weeks before plotting greater success next season.
Meanwhile the 2nd XV are preparing for the Forster Cup final on 18th April. Kick off is confirmed as 1 pm at the Kingspan Stadium (Ravenhill).
There are supporters buses leaving the club at 11.15 am (returning after the game) and there are a few spaces remaining should anyone wish to avail of them. A snack will be available in the clubhouse on return and a commemorative supporters t-shirt is included in the package. Please contact Anne Sloane – sloane646@btinternet.com or via the club facebook page -randalstown rugby football club – to reserve a place.
The annual club dinner is on Saturday 11th April at 7.00 pm. Please ensure you have given your name to Adie Johnston for this – always a special event at Randalstown.
Preparations are underway for the Spring/Summer Ball which will be held on 6th June this year. Contact Sammy Hyndman for tickets. Full details will be available soon. Check out the website www.randalstownrfc.co.uk for details of all forthcoming events.

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