Randalstown Rugby Club First XV ended their recent ‘hoodoo’ at Academy with a hard-fought 7-3 triumph on Saturday.
Randalstown’s journey to near neighbours Academy has ended disappointingly in the previous 4 seasons, but on Saturday afternoon it was the Neillsbrook men’s turn to triumph, albeit by a narrow margin leaving them firmly positioned in 4th place in Qualifying 2.
After 6 minutes, wing forward Peter Knowles ran a good supporting line to score close to the posts, this followed a period of good ball retention and interplay between forwards and backs. The resulting conversion was made by Daniel McGlade.
Unfortunately, things turned a little sour for the town team when first captain Dan Wilson and then shortly afterwards Scott McClenaghan had to leave the field. Both players suffered ankle injuries.
With 10 minutes remaining in the first half, Randalstown conceded a number of penalties which saw Academy work their way down the touch line into the Randalstown 22. Another penalty was conceded by Randalstown for off side following a catch and drive by Academy from a line out. This time Academy opted for a scrum, where they had been dominating. After a number of resets, the town 8 managed to stop the push over try, which forced the number 8 to release the ball, the scrum half went blind were they had an extra man, winger David McWhirter was alert to the danger an went for the interception, unfortunately he knocked the ball on and was subsequently yellow carded for what the referee deemed to be a deliberate knock down.
A further period of pressure from Academy finally yielded a penalty in front of the town posts which they kicked to leave the half time score at 7 -3 in favour of Randalstown.
In the main the second half was somewhat of a stalemate with defences being the order of the day and in the latter stages, Niall McGlade on the wing pulled out a try saving tackle
Randalstown II 32, Cavan 10: After two early Murray penalties, Canavn responded with two unconverted tries.
Kenny McPollin then powerred over the line for Randalstown’s first try and Murray’s conversion gave the home side a 13-10 half-time lead.
Randalstown scored again on 55 minutes when the referee played advantage after a knock-on and White went close to the line. When the ball was recycled Mason nipped over for the try and Murray added the extras.
‘Town rounded off the afternoon with two more tries in the remaining ten minutes, firstly as Strange barged his way over for a well deserved try.
Then Cavan overthrew a lineout and this time Mason was the grateful recipient as he was able to gather and notch up his second try of the afternoon. Murray converted to finish the scoring.