Rainey 27-10 Dungannon
A disappointing result and in truth a disappointing performance saw Dungannon leave Hatrick Park pointless.
Despite leading at halftime and holding on to a bonus league point for 70 minutes, a mixture of Rainey pressure and the dreaded yellow card saw Rainey end up with a 27-10 advantage.
Playing with the benefit of a strong wind Dungannon’s Jack Milligan put the first points on the board on 5 minutes when Rainey were penalised for holding.
Dungannon were not competitive at the restart and when Rainey recycled the ball Mark O’Connor struck a monster drop goal from all of 45 metres, 3-3.
Midway through the half James McMahon made a break from the Gannon twenty-two that took him up to halfway, the ball was recycled and Karl Egan burst through and into the host’s 22. When the ball was recycled the move appeared to have lost momentum until Gareth McGonigle broke from the back of a ruck and fed James Bates who sauntered over for a try that Milligan converted, 3-10.
Whilst Rainey were on top for the rest of the half Dungannon withstood the pressure until an unexpected lapse in concentration at scrum time saw Rainey win a penalty duly despatched by O’Connor.
Then came one of those tragic instances on the Dungannon 22. Gareth McGonigle was trapped in a ruck and helplessly impeding the passage of the ball. The Rainey forwards were using that effective but now illegal practice of vigorously rucking Gareth out of the way without success. The referee supported the attacking team and the unfortunate McGonigle struggled off to the ‘bin’. O’Connor meted out more punishment just prior to halftime, 9-10.
In the second half Rainey worked their way up field and following a penalty lineout Stevie Rutledge was driven over to give the home side a first time lead on 50 minutes.
A mixture of doughty Dungannon defending and poor Rainey decision making saw no change in the score. On one occasion Rainey butchered a try scoring opportunity when Ross McCloskey sent O’Connor through but the latter’s try providing pass was wide of the mark.
A pre scrum penalty allowed O’Connor to stretch the lead to seven points before, as Rainey were attacking on the right Gannon wing, Darren Simpson was spotted standing offside. A ‘team yellow’ was shown and O’Connor put Rainey up to the 20 point mark from the resultant penalty.
Rainey took full advantage of the extra man breaking from their twenty-two and sending the ball through the hands for flying wing Alan Clarke to touch down on 80 minutes. O’Connor converted to complete the scoring.
“Dungannon were well in the game for seventy minutes and although their endeavour deserved a point they must examine their own actions, the odd missed tackle, anxious pass and we must be more disciplined and not give referees the excuse to flaunt the dreaded yellow card,” said Dungannon clubman, David Wishart afterwards.
Dungannon: John McGuckin. Darren Simpson, Matthew Montgomery, Gareth McGonigle, Robert McLean. Jack Milligan, James Bates, Steven Sinnamon, Karl Egan, Glen Sinnamon. John Joe Kane, Bryan Davidson. Stephen Todd, David Leyburn, James McMahon. Daniel Maxwell, Charlie Farrell, Rodney Blair, Gerard Treanor, Jake Finlay.
Rainey OB: Mark O’Connor. Alan Clarke, Ross McCloskey, Damian McMurray, Noel Stirling. Mark Pyper, Michael Wilson. Alan Shaw, Joseph Roe, Neil O’Kane. Tim Barker, David Dawson. Conor O’Neill, Jonny Lees, Joe McMurray. Stephen Rutledge, Tom O’Hagan, Peter Stewart, Peter Boyle, Colin Fulton.