Randalstown Rugby club Notes: III XV 24 v Donaghadee Rugby III XV 13 & II XV 56 v Ophir Rugby II XV 0

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Randalstown 3rd XV 24 Donaghadee 3rd XV 13

Randalstown 3rds have progressed well this year and added another victory on Saturday afternoon much to manager McCann’s delight.

On this occasion ‘Town were a bit slow to start but after about 10 minutes they had worked themselves into a decent field position in the end courtesy of McClenaghan but unfortunately the resulting penalty was pushed just wide.

Donaghadee then created a chance of their own and only a fine well time tackle by full back Hodges saved an almost certain try. Randalstown were handed back a chance to clear their lines when the visitors conceded what was to be one of several penalties during the afternoon. A well taken lineout gave ‘Town a sound attacking chance and Pollen tore up the middle to touch down under the posts making the conversion straightforward for Service.

Still it remained a tight affair with the visitors frustrating Randalstown’s endeavours until with just over half an hour played Hodges got the opportunity to stretch his legs and was unfortunate not to be awarded the try amidst a little confusion as to whether he had been bundled into touch before grounding the ball. Randalstown shortened their lineout and Donaghadee couldn’t have anticipated that McClenaghan would join at pace to take the ball at the front and barge over the line. Service added the tricky conversion and ‘Town were looking comfortable at 14-3. From the restart however possession was fumbled and Donaghadee nipped in for a try just before half time.

The second half was well underway before the scoreboard was troubled again. A little bit of indiscipline from ‘Town gave the visitors an extra 10 yards on a penalty opportunity which proved sufficient to let them strike for the line and reduce the deficit to a mere point.

The remainder of the game was nearly all Randalstown, as they kept the visitors pinned in their own 22. ‘Town did everything only score until veteran hooker Sloane spotted a gap and burrowed through to touch down for his first try this season. Again Service converted.

The final points of the afternoon came from the boot of John Scott with a cheeky drop goal.

Team: Hodges Duncan Pollen Mulholland Harrison Scott Service Reeves Sloane Hamilton Asquith Devlin Savage Kennedy McClenaghan

Ophir 2nd XV 0 Randalstown 2nd XV 56

Galvanised by the return of inspirational manager Ivan Richardson Randalstown 2s recorded a thumping 56 – 0 away win to Ophir 2s.

Town started brightly and after a period of early pressure James Millar crashed over under the posts. The try was however disallowed as the referee had spotted an earlier infringement by Ophir, but declined to play the advantage. Niall McGlade, filling in a scrum half, took advantage of the confusion, tapped the penalty quickly and strolled over the line.

As the half progressed the big Ophir pack got on top but never really threatened to score, yet not allowing the sharper ‘Town outfit to play. In spite of this the visitors kept the scoreboard moving with McCann slotting over 3 penalties. He also added a second try before half time after a good break from the industrious Harris.

Within minutes of the restart ‘Town were in again. After a thumping tackle by Gary Hume the ball went loose in the Ophir 22 and was quickly snapped up by Simon Moon who had the power to get over the try line.

Next on the score sheet was Adam Boyd who intercepted just inside the Ophir half and was able to sprint in unchallenged. Ben Winter, like Moon earlier, was alert to scoop up a loose ball and scamper home for another try.

As the game drew to a close, and with it well won by that stage, Randalstown were able to pile on the points. A long kick from Ophir was retrieved by the ever impressive Ings who found McGarry in support and the flying winger was able to race in. ‘Town left the best till last and finished in style. Having stretched their opponents from one side to the other courtesy of some impressive handling in the back line and industry in the pack ensuring possession at the breakdown the ball was spread again and this time 2nd row James Millar picked a great line outside Adie Johnston to blast through the home defence and touch down. This was fitting reward for Millar and capped a man of the match performance.

Richardson, as has often been the case this season, was spoilt for choice in many respects in his man of the match selection as Ben Hamilton and the entire back row pushed Millar hard for the accolade. McCann also put in a good shift, racking up a try 3 penalties and 6 conversions.

Team: McCann McGarry Johnston Moon Winter Boyd McGlade Spiers Hamilton Loughlin J Millar D Millar Harris Hume Ings.

Next Saturday the 1sts are back in action at home to Ballyshannon, the 2nds travel to Ballymoney and the 3rds are scheduled to play Cooke 4s at home.

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