Randalstown First XV suffered a 15-3 home defeat at the hands of Qualifying League leaders Carrick on Saturday.
The home side competed well throughout and were very unlucky early in the second half not to score and reduce an early deficit.
Carrick took their opportunity well however and nudged into a slender 3-0 lead in the opening 10 minutes.
Randalstown had the opportunity to draw level but the kick went way off target and minutes later they conceded a fairly soft try as the big Carrick second row burst through and with a bit of support romped home in the end.
As is often the tale ‘Town came to life in the second half and were agonisingly close for a sustained period but gained only a penalty. As the clock ticked down Carrick regained a bit of momentum and a last gasp penalty secured the win.
Randalstown Second XV entertained high flying Ballymoney at Neillsbrook and despite putting in a strong performance they fell to a 25-13 defeat.
The opening points came just before the quarter hour when good work from Laverty and Mark Strange helped ‘Town out of their own half and into a position where Ballymoney conceded a penalty which Conor Murray slotted over.
The game continued to swing both ways until the visitors replied with a penalty with 25 minutes gone. This was followed by a sustained period of pressure from Ballymoney and eventually as half time approached the home defence sprung a leak and they went through for an unconverted try.
From the restart ‘Town put in a long clearance and when Ballymoney attempted to return in kind Callum McGrenaghan was up quickly to charge down. The young centre was then quick to gather and scamper over under the posts. Murray added the extras.
‘Town continued to thwart the visitors with stout defence, as well as giving them problems when they had possession. They were rewarded with another Murray penalty to stretch the lead to 13-8.
The game turned in the visitor’s favour at the stage however as they gradually told a firmer hold and reduced the deficit with a penalty. Some sloppy defending round the edge of a ruck minutes later saw them run through for a converted try.
A further try in the last move of the game put the finishing touch to Ballymoney’s win.
UUC II 5, Randalstown III 36: This was an excellent victory for the 3rds but it has been overshadowed by a decision at branch level which seems to be down to player administration difficulties arising from earlier in the season.
The result is that the endeavours of manager Murray and captain McClenaghan which saw them sitting in the top half of the table have been to no avail as due to points deducted they drop right down the Junior 6 table.