Londonderry YMCA I XV 28 – 8 Strabane RFC I, Gordon West Cup XV & Strabane II XV 62- 0 Rainey Old Boys IV XV, Minor League North

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A tough day at the office for the 1st XV, but in the end beaten by a better team.

We had our chances, with norman lindsay getting to within 2 metres of the YM line in our first serious move and a couple more chances were not taken.

But the main problem was lack of discipline in defence , with 2 soft tries conceded and far too many silly penalties given away.

In the second half when we eventually did what the coach has been preaching, and instead of fighting for the ball in the rucks and getting sucked in, we let them hammer away and wait for them to make a mistake.

Which of course they duly did when our defence was well organised and tough. We got a well deserved try after a well worked number 8 move off the back of a scrum, the second pod took it on the same way and norman did get a sweet try in the corner.

Davy of course keeping his points tally ticking over with another penalty – but he’s got to be watching the news from the 2’s in the points table race J

Dean mccarter made a solid debut at fullback and is adding to the selection pressure and everyone put in a solid shift, but it’s key game this weekend at home to letterkenny in the next round of the cup.

A knees-up is planned after this match – all welcome to the cricket club.

At least the seconds cheered us up – well done lads.

It was a lovely afternoon down by the meadows in Strabane, with freshly cut grass a bright sun and a cool breeze. Little did the Rainey Old Boys know of what exactly awaited them as they sauntered in to the pitch some 15 minutes late. It was the beast that is the seconds that awaited them, a pack of ball hungry rugby animals intent on inflicting pain and huge defeats on anybody in their way.

Now that I’ve set the scene- Strabane made no mistakes this time in getting straight into the Rainey pack and soon found themselves in the Rainey 22 with strong runs from Jonny Key and Eddie McCrea. This was to be the theme that carried through the entire game as the forwards relentlessly punched holes in the Rainey defence, and when the time was right the ball would be called by Maxi who would distribute it accordingly. Stephen Campbell opened the scoring (I think) and the Rainey defence for the first try, that was followed by tries for Murdoch, Warnock, Key and Chris Hamilton. This was to leave the half time score at a well deserved 36-0 to the home team.

The second half was much of the same and it wasn’t long before Rainey started to leek tries again. Clive Allen opened the scoring in the second half (I think) when he kicked a loose ball towards the Rainey try line and showed a good turn of speed to be the first to get there. Another man showing a good turn of speed was Andy Sayers who scythed his way through the Rainey pack and race clear for his maiden try for the club. Jonny Key, Soupy and Cricky Hamilton all picked up their second tries of the game and with another solid performance from Maxwell at 10 who converted six tries the final score was 62-0.

The score reflects the dominance of Strabane and despite the occasional kick and chase from Rainey they offered little in attack, with Strabane having no sympathy with their disorganised defence. It’s interesting to see that Strabane II scored 172 points from 18 games last season and have already scored 163 from 5 games this season.

The team now have a week’s rest (Eddie had a extra 10 minutes rest than everyone else, tut tut..) before a sterner test awaits them at Armoy next Saturday, a match in which whoever wins will top the table. Is it too early to have league ambitions? I think not.

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