Randalstown Rugby II XV 26 v CIYMS Rugby IV XV 5

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Randalstown 2s continued their good run of form with a 3rd successive win as they triumphed over CIYMS at Neillsbrook on Saturday afternoon.

CI looked a useful unit as they eventually took to the field and they started brightly creating the first chance in the opeing minutes which Ben Winter did well to clear. This was however to be their only chance in the first half as skipper Gary Walker whipped his side into shape, and they took control of the game with some great handling in attack and hard hitting tackles in defence.

The Neillsbrook outfit opened the scoring 10 minutes in with a penalty on the 22 converted by Peter McCann. Seven minutes later they had worked themselves into a good attacking position with a lineout on the visitors 10 metre line. An infringement by CI gave ‘Town a free kick, which the promising Dan Wilson tapped quickly and, like a human Clydesdale, powered over the line for the first try of the afternoon.

Randalstown continued to show admirable adventure, with forwards and backs combining well, and McCann went close to a 2nd try after a powerful run down the wing before being bundled into touch.

Then with about 25 minutes played a surging break from his own half by Willie Fleck was carried on by pacey 2nd row James Millar. CI killed the ball and gave McCann the chance to slot over his 2nd penalty. Millar along with Ings, Scott and Stevenson were always to the fore as ‘town continued to press the visitors, and with half time approaching a 2nd try eventually came. Camped in the CI 22 Randalstown recycled the ball a number of times, stretching the visitors from one side to the other, until eventually experienced centre Adie Johnston sold an outrageous dummy to create a gap for his centre partner Simon Moon who charged over to stretch the lead to 16 – 0 at half time.

Ten minutes into the 2nd half McCann stretched the home lead further with another penalty, having been denied 3 points just beforehand by the randalstown touch judge, who was alone in the opinion that the kick had gone wide. Following this a CI attack was halted on halfway by a thundering tackle from Fleck. The loose ball was scooped up – rather a la Brian O’Driscoll – by the old man Johnston, who put a smart gruber kick behind the defence and flying full back McCann won the race to touch down. Mindful of the earlier dubious decision on the penalty McCann slotted the conversion from out wide right down the middle of the uprights.

Despite losing a man to injury CI hit back about 20 minutes into the half recycling ball a number of times from their own half before their scrum half picked up and cut through a decimated home defence to touch down deservedly.

The slick handling and dynamic ball carrying of the first half deserted the home team for the remainder of the game as the failed to exploit the extra space. The nearest they came to adding to their score were two opportunities from Moon. Firstly he showed some neat ball juggling to cross the line, only to drop the ball before touching down, and then he was held up under the posts after a powerful drive.

The game finally petered out in the gloom with CI now down to 13 men after another thumping Fleck tackle, and Randalstown reduced to 14, losing Tubbs Stevenson when someone reputedly stood on his toe. The final score went down well with manager Richardson, although he was disappointed that his men couldn’t add to their 3 tries. Despite some enterprising back play it was again the forwards who he picked out for special merit. James Millar, Ings and Goodfellow all had influential games, but it was hooker Stevenson who won the manager’s Man of the Match for his wrecking ball performance in the loose.

Team: McCann Fleck Johnston Moon Winter Boyd Walker (Capt) Loughlin Stevenson M Millar Goodfellow J Millar Hyndman Ings Wilson

Next Saturday the 1st XV are due to travel to Malone, the 2nds are at home to Enniskillen and the 3rds are away to Donaghadee.

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