Randalstown lost 25-3 to Omagh at Neillsbrook on Saturday, a result which saw the Tyrone side crowned Qualifying Two champions.
Randalstown slipped to 6th position and this looks like being their finishing spot with one game remaining at home to Holywood next Saturday.
The visitors enjoyed a period of intense pressure on the Randalstown line and after five minutes scoring the opening try of the game. Omagh continued their attacks in an effort to consolidate their lead but good work in the Randalstown defence keep them at bay. The home side began to get into the game and took control of the set pieces pushing Omagh off the ball on a number of occasions. With half time approaching Randalstown’s John O’Kane slotted over a well taken penalty to reduce the lead to two points. However on the stroke of half time the Omagh forwards won good ball at the ruck and set up a try which was converted to leave the half time score 3-12 in favour of the visitors.
Early in the second half Randalstown were unfortunate not to get on the score sheet when Paul Laverty and Dan Wilson combined well only to be held up short of the line. Further good work by Peter Knowles saw Randalstown almost over the line again in the 60th minute. As the game moved into the final 15 minutes Omagh scored two well taken penalties and scored a try in the corner. This gave them a 25-3 win despite the excellent second half performance from the home side. All in Randalstown RFC would like to congratulate Omagh on their promotion to Qualifying 1.
Instonians 3rd XV 36 Randalstown 2nd XV 52: Missing regular backs Matty Turner, Chris McGoldrick and Chris Donnelly a degree of shuffling was required and in spite of this ‘Town started well running the ball at every opportunity. Conor Murray, deputising at outhalf, put the first points on the board after 3 minutes. Charging down a poor clearance in the home 10 metre area Murray eventually scooped up the ball to touch down after Hurrell and Orr had just failed to pick up. He added the conversion.
Shortly afterwards Vernon Thom cantered home from just inside the Instonians half. However, ‘Town found themselves going 17-12 down, with the home side adding a penalty to two converted tries. Nathan Storer then made a good break from his own half which gave ‘Town good territorial advantage and it was Storer who scored close to the posts. Murray added the extras.
The remainder of the half saw Instonians score two more converted tries. Within a minute of the restart, Randalstown pulled a score back. Murray scavenged a loose ball on half way and touched down at the posts. From the restart Murray kicked long into space and the ball travelled into the home 22. Scott Goodrich was quickly up to tackle the gathering Instonians player, effectively turning the ball over and Hyndman was on hand to feed Simon Adams who went over under the posts. Murray converted.
Liam Hurrell set up ball for Murray who released Ian Hume. The flanker sped away but was hauled down just shor but skipper Hyndman was able to pick up and drive over to put ‘Town into the lead. Murray converted again.
Another long Murray kick into the opposition 22 was well chased down by his team and the ball was turned over in their favour. Hume offloaded to Winter who coasted over the line for another converted try.
The half century was achieved when Hume went over for a deserved try. Murray added his 6th conversion. The home side notched up the final points, touching down in the corner to leave the final score 52-36 in Randalstown’s favour. A topsy turvy game gave the seconds much food for thought in the run up to their Forster Cup Final. The seconds have a break next weekend.