Randalstown Seconds ‘Cooke’ up a tremendous fightback to claim win

Randalstown Seconds show a clean pair of heels in their game against Cooke. INBT 12-873H
Randalstown Seconds show a clean pair of heels in their game against Cooke. INBT 12-873H

Randalstown 2nds were made to battle hard for a tremendous come-from-behind win at Neillsbrook on Saturday afternoon.

The Town side overturned a 13-0 half time deficit to beat their Cooke counterparts 17-13 in a nail-biting encounter.

Gaining a few metres of ground during the Randalstown RFC Second XV v Cooke match at Neillsbrook. INBT 12-870H

Gaining a few metres of ground during the Randalstown RFC Second XV v Cooke match at Neillsbrook. INBT 12-870H

Played in heavy underfoot conditions ‘Town struggled to get into any rhythm in the opening period, with the visitors often camped in the home 22 for long periods.

They were also falling foul of the match official conceding a string of penalties which again prevented them from stringing together any sustained periods of play.

Cooke opened the scoring 15 minutes in, crashing through the home defence on the 10m line for a converted try.

Further run ins with the the referee from ‘Town allowed the visitors to add a further two penalties to their half time tally.

Randalstown Second XV attempt to break forward in front of the watching crowd at Neillsbrook. INBT 12-871H

Randalstown Second XV attempt to break forward in front of the watching crowd at Neillsbrook. INBT 12-871H

The second half saw ‘Town start in determined fashion pinning Cooke deep in their own half from the outset, and for the majority of the half.

They were held up just short of the line on a couple of occasions before a penalty was quickly taken and good hands stretched the visitor’s defence leaving space for Ben Winter to run in out wide.

Murray added the conversion.

‘Town remained in control, their discipline much improved, and within 15 minutes they added a second try.

Making a break from the scrum during the Randalstown RFC Second XV v Cooke match. INBT 12-872H

Making a break from the scrum during the Randalstown RFC Second XV v Cooke match. INBT 12-872H

Peter McCann, who always looked dangerous when he got ball in hand, was stopped just short of the line after a powerful run from half way.

The ball was quickly recycled and after Mark Strange had made good ground Phil McLean picked a great line and surged over close to the posts.

Murray again slotted over the conversion, and he added a penalty with 65 minutes on the clock after a couple of failed attempts to wrap up the scoring.

Cooke had a final flurry of pressure, but a determined home defence held out for a satisfying win.

This was another real battle for the ‘Town 2s but Sammy Hyndman’s men were up for it.

Unfortunately it came with a couple of injuries as Peter McWhirter and Callum Mc Grenaghan suffered shoulder damage, but on the plus side they welcomed back Coby Mason and Jacob McCollum after lengthy spells on the sidelines.

The seconds remain mid table in Junior 3, just behind Saturday’s opposition.

They have a few games in hand and will be home for a strong end to their first season, which has been creditable at this level.

This Saturday they host Cavan at Neillsbrook, 2.30 pm kick off. The 1st XV are back in league action away to Academy.

The Six Nations games will be on the big screen in the clubhouse as the championship wraps up for another year.

There is a busy program of events across all sections over the next few weeks and a couple of dates for the diary are 2nd April when the final pre-match lunch, a ladies day, will take place. Speak to Adie Johnston adie_johnston@hotmail.com to reserve a place.

The club dinner will be on 16th April and the annual formal is on 29th April in Leighinmohr House.