Report & Pics Randalstown RFC II XV 26 v City of Derry RFC III XV 0 (39 Shots)

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Santa Claus came to Randalstown on Saturday afternoon and entertained the mini section but the best present of the day was the victory of the 2nd XV against nearest rivals City of Derry taking their unbeaten run in the league to 10 games (out of ten) and leaving them 6 points clear at the top of the table going into a long Christmas break. CLICK HERE FOR THE SHOTSSSSSS
A trawl of some of the longer memories suggests that this is something of a record achievement for a Randalstown team and if there have been any similar achievements it may again have been a second XV, possibly one captained by Jimmy Parkhill back in the 1980s.
Tries on the afternoon came from Simon Adams, captain Sammy Hyndman, Ryan McGarry and Matty Turner. Connor Murray added 3 conversions. Hyndman’s try means he is the leading try scorer for the 2nds at this stage in the season, just overtaking Murray.
For the first time in several weeks ‘Town were slow to start and Derry had the upper hand in the opening exchanges, pinning ‘Town deep in their own territory. The defence stood firm however and when the ball was cleared for a lineout it went exactly to plan. Adams gathered and sprinted for the line and the visiting defence were unable to do anything to stop the prop in full flight.
Randalstown were always willing to run with the ball but they struggled to find any more gaps in the Derry defence until, with half time approaching, a penalty opportunity at close quarters gave a great opportunity for an attacking lineout. Again the set piece worked well and the ‘town pack rumbled towards the line so that Hyndman was able to pick up and stretch over. From the restart ‘Town attacked again and Murray went in out wide but he had unfortunately strayed into touch before getting the ball down.
‘Town continued well after the break and when the ball was spread, assisted by a rebound off Conor Ferry’s rump as he bent down to avoid interfering with the pass, Ryan McGarry was on hand to speed in. The scoreboard went untroubled for almost the rest of the game until McGoldrick opted to pass inside to Turner and he sent out a long looping pass which was beautifully gathered by Murray. Maguire was up in support and he danced down the line only to be held up inches from the line. Turner was up in support and was allowed 2 bites at the cherry to get the touch down and round off the scoring.
It goes without saying that Manager Sloane was delighted with this win, although he conceded that it wasn’t the finest performance to date. In fairness Randalstown put together some great phases of play, some of the running and offloading was a joy to watch, and the set piece worked well for them all afternoon. Captain Hyndman’s pick of the pack was hooker Pedro Conceicao while centre Matty Mawhinney impressed in the backline having had a very industrious afternoon.
Next Saturday only the 3rd XV are in action as they entertain near neighbours Antrim in the league.
There will be a game on Boxing Day weather permitting, when a Randalstown XV will take on a Randalstown Exiles XV. The Exiles are being marshalled by Neil Foster and anyone interested in playing should contact him as soon as possible.
The 1st XV then travel to Enniskillen in the first round of the Towns Cup on 3rd January, while the 3rds play Letterkenny 2nd XV in the McCambley Cup at Neillsbrook.
A very Merry Xmas to all our supporters at Randalstown and best wishes for a happy and prosperous new Year. We hope many of you will be able to join us at the clubhouse on boxing day. Kick off is scheduled for 2.00 pm.

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