Rainey OB progressed to the semi-finals of this season’s Nutty Krust U18 Floodlit Cup with a 27-12 win over a Omagh Accies/Dungannon side at Portadown’s Chambers Park.
The combined Tyrone side had led 12-5 at the break having made good use of the Storm Gareth conditions.
But Rainey fought back in the second half - aided by those conditions - and booked a semi-final tie against Randalstown on March 27.
Making good use of the elements in the first half, Omagh/Dungannon’s enterprising approach with the ball on hand saw them rewarded with a try in the opening stages.
Strong carriers from players such as Simon Creane, Zack Elmarif and the impressive Ryan Armstrong, paved the way for Simon Creane touching down for a try.
Will Stewart added the extras for a 7-0 lead.
Rainey responded positively and they forced the Tyrone boys’ defence into conceding a penalty.
Bryan Hall gathered the ball and took a quickly tapped penalty. This caught the opposition out and he ran in unopposed for an unconverted try to reduce the deficit to 7-5.
Omagh/Dungannon controlled the territory and possession for the next ten minutes and took play into the Rainey ‘red zone’.
Constant pressure on the Rainey line was rewarded when the hard working Omagh/Dungannon No 8, Mica Anderson, barged his way over the line for an unconverted try to give the Tyrone players a 12-5 lead at the break.
Rainey, with the wind advantage in the second half, started strongly and, after several phases of play, Ciaran McCann touched down for an unconverted try in the corner to reduce the arrears to 12-10.
Rainey continued to control the territory and possession and their impressive No 8, Jack Bresland, touched down for an unconverted try to see his team into a 15-12 lead.
Bresland continued to pressurise the Omagh/Dungannon line and, at one stage, he was held up just short.
However, ball was quickly recycled and Enda Quigley barged his way over for a try. Harry Evans added the extras tand Rainey had a 22-12 lead.
The Tyrone boys, with Ryan Armstrong and Mica Anderson to the fore, made valiant efforts to break out of defence on a number of occasions only to see their efforts thwarted by some well-organised Rainey defence.
In the closing stages Bresland and Harry Evans combined to take play deep into opposition territory.
Nathan Jeffers took advantage of quick ball to scythe his way through the defence and touch down for an unconverted try which gave Rainey a deserved, if flattering win.
As usual with the Nutty Krust tournament the players all received a post-match meal which was sponsored by Jim Hewitt Meats, prepared by the staff in “Scrummees” kitchen, and organised by the ever present Sid Rowe. All players, as well as their coaches, received a Nutty Krust loaf on departure.
Brian Irwin, chairman of sponsors Irwin’s Bakery was present to see Clive Bowles, president of Portadown RFC and a member of the Nutty Krust Committee, present the Nutty Krust ‘Man of the Match Award’ to Mica Anderson, the Omagh/Dungannon No 8.
In the last of the quarter-finals, the reschduled game between holders City of Armagh and City of Derry will be played on Wednesday night (March 20), Chambers Park, 7:45pm.
The winners will meet Banbridge in the semi-finals on March 26.