Randalstown sneaked home with a bonus point win at Neillsbrook on Saturday afternoon with a 22-15 win over Lisburn.
Five minutes in the visitors took full advantage of some sloppy defence down the left flank and had 5 points on the board.
A huge plus for the home side was the serious dominance upfront as they pushed the visitors all over the place but good possession gained from this advantage was squandered by poor handling. A further penalty saw Lisburn sneak 8-0 ahead.
It was fully 30 minutes before the home side made a serious foray into the opposition 22 when the brothers Smith combined well to gain the hard yards. Another big scrum allowed Hurrell to pick off the back and sprint with McGlade in support.
Thankfully the full back saw Donnelly racing up the wing and shipped the ball out to allow the winger to cross out wide and narrow the deficit.
The second half saw the ‘Town men with the downhill advantage and they kept Lisburn pinned in the 22 for long periods until eventually hooker Stevenson burst through from 20 metres.
Urged on by a sizeable crowd ‘Town got into their stride and between great set piece and good recycling the ball was flung out to the back line and the ever present Donnelly on the wing. He gathered well and ran in for his brace.
Next up on the score sheet was captain Wilson, again out very wide, and this time McGlade knocked over a telling conversion.
It felt as though the game was won at this stage on the touchline, but as the clock ticked down a kick was charged down into the Lisburn winger’s hand and he raced in below the posts for a converted try.
The final whistle was blessed relief for the ‘Town faithful. This Saturday the 1sts travel to Donaghadee and will be looking for another bonus point win to consolidate their position in the top half of the table.
City of Derry II 27, Randalstown II 0: Second XV Manager Gregor Sloane was left tearing his hair out due to injuries and unavailabilties prior to their Crawford Cup quarter final game up in Londonderry.
Despite conceding a considerable height and weight advantage ‘Town defended admirably and it took 30 minutes before the home side registered their first points with a penalty.
They added a converted try on the stroke of half time to turn round 10-0 up and ran in 3 more tries without reply, but to their credit ‘Town never gave up the fight and kept a strong defence to the end.
Miguel Conceicao, Johnny Fullerton, Shaun McCrory, Peter McCann and Joel Mulholland performed very well stepping up from the 3rd XV and travelling from a distance , while Kenny Pollin had an outstanding game in the not entirely familiar back row berth.