A Rainey December day for the U14s in Magherafelt
By Peter Orsi
29/12/2018 : Final Score : Rainey 43 – Letterkenny 38
Letterkenny U14s travelled to Magherafelt for a festive fixture between two of the leagues form teams. Rainey had won the reverse fixture earlier in the season and the Letterkenny lads knew they had to up their game against a pacy Rainey attack.
Where to start? ….. well the this game was high on effort, mazy runs and tries by both teams from the very start to very end in perfect conditions.
Letterkenny burst out of the blocks. Just 2 minutes in, a deep kick for territory into Rainey 22 followed by great pressure at the ruck saw the away team get the ball and forced an opening out wide for Finn Duffy to carry over for the first try. [0-7].
A couple of minutes later it was Rainey’s turn to put pressure on the Letterkenny scrum within their own 22 and quick hands moved the ball to out wide for the speedy no.13 to run in their opening try. [5-7]. Five points quickly became 12-7 and another try sprinted in by no.13 had the score line [19-7] after just 10 mins.
Credit to the Letterkenny lads though, who began the fight back with some direct running of their own. First up Ultan McGuinness (making a welcome return from injury!) created some havoc in the Rainey defence to score a great solo effort [19-12]. Just 2 minutes later and the sides were level. Again Ultan created some holes in the Rainey defence with the ball passed into the hands of Finn Duffy running the supporting line to score both try and conversion. [19-19].
But just as soon as they had got back level Letterkenny gave up a couple of soft scores – first an opportunistic pick up and run-in by a Rainey forward from a ruck when Letterkenny looked to be in control and then a number of missed tackles on a mazy run by the Rainey no. 12.
Half Time Score Rainey 33 – Letterkenny 19.
After a regroup and pep-talk at half-time again the Letterkenny boys responded. Five minutes in, once again Ultan created space for Finn Duffy to exploit for the first try of the second half. Five minutes later the sides were level again this time Ultan scoring himself after sustained pressure from the Letterkenny forwards. [33-33].
14 minutes into the second half Letterkenny went ahead this time Cillian Boyle running great supporting line to get the try out wide [33-38]. But credit to the Rainey team for putting a press on Letterkenny from the restart. A short clearance kick was pounced on by No.13 again to run in the equalising score in the corner [38-38] and just a minute later the Rainey no. 8 evaded some Letterkenny tackles on the wing to run half the length of the pitch for the winning score.
An entertaining contest that could have went either way and credit to all players !!