Randalstown suffer ‘shut-out’ at hands of Enniskillen

Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Councillor Thomas Hogg, along with other guests and some of the children who played in the Randalstown RFC mini festival on Saturday.
Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Councillor Thomas Hogg, along with other guests and some of the children who played in the Randalstown RFC mini festival on Saturday.

Randalstown Rugby Club First XV suffered a 21-0 home defeat at the hands of promotion-chasing Enniskillen on Saturday.

The match was played in the unfamiliar territory of Antrim Grammar due to the mini youth festival taking place all day at Neillsbrook .

Befitting a team in their position the visitors started strongly showing the intent to get the scoreboard ticking over in their favour. After 10 minutes they had opened the scoring as the powerful pack took a lineout on the ‘Town 10 metre line and mauled over for a converted score.

Enniskillen continued to dominate, particularly in the set pieces and tight play, and they went close again on a couple of occasions early in the half. As the game continued ‘Town started to come into contention with skipper Liam Hurrell leading by example. The number 8 made a number of good breaks to bring his side into the ‘Skins half but they never really threatened the line. The home side however continued to defend stoutly, with David Millar and Peter Knowles outstanding in disrupting the visitors.

After the turn around Dan McGlade made a storming break from just under the posts but just failed to score as he was stopped short of the Enniskillen line.

This was to be as close as ‘Town got and with the loss of Phil McLean and Conor Ferry to injury, coupled with a number of other players soldering bravely on while carrying knocks it was a backs to the wall effort. Despite this it was only in the last ten minutes that Enniskillen added to their total with ‘Town down to 14 as Coby Mason rested in the sin bin, and they added 2 more converted tries in quick succession.

A number of games which fell victim to poor weather earlier in the year still have to be played out. At the moment the remaining fixtures for the 1st XV are:

Wednesday 13th April (7pm) v Donaghadee (h); Saturday, April 16 (2.30pm) v Queen’s II (h); Wednesday, April 20 (7pm) v Grosvenor (to be confirmed). This is subject to change – keep an eye on the club facebook page for updates.

The 3rd XV travel to Malone on 23rd April for a 12.30 pm kick off - their final game of what has been a somewhat elongated season.

MINI FESTIVAL

Meanwhile on Saturday afternoon the Mini Section held their first rugby festival at Neillsbrook and it proved to be a resounding success for all the age groups competing. There was a high level of excitement throughout the day as the club entertained hundreds of energetic children.

Several important visitors dropped in to join in the fun, including Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Mr Thomas Hogg, accompanied by his deputy on this occasion. Ulster Rugby player Peter Brown was a huge hit with all the children, while around midday there was more excitement as First Minister Arlene Foster arrived with some of her local colleagues.