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Ulster Bank League: Division 2C Review

Ulster Bank League: Division 2C Review

Rainey Old Boys are still the team to catch after the opening four rounds of Ulster Bank League Division 2C. Midleton lead the chasing pack, with Bruff becoming the tenth and final team to open their win account.

ULSTER BANK LEAGUE DIVISION 2C: Saturday, October 8

ROUND 4 RESULTS –

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Boyne 22 Midleton 22, Shamrock Lodge
Kanturk 37 Navan 47, Knocknacolan
Rainey Old Boys 31 Seapoint 0, Hatrick Park
Bruff 26 Sligo 25, Kilballyowen Park
Tullamore v Bangor, Spollanstown (match postponed)

21-point winners over Bruff last week, Seapoint were brought back down to earth by unbeaten leaders Rainey who emerged with a comprehensive 31-0 bonus point victory at home on Saturday.

Three tries in the first half and two after the break kept up the Magherafelt men’s impressive run of bonus point successes, both at Hatrick Park and on the road.

Full-back Ricky Andrew raced onto his own kick through to register Rainey’s opening try before Seapoint had even touched the ball. The visitors’ dogged defence kept the margin at seven points until two late tries made it 19-0 for the interval.

Like Andrew, experienced forward Tim Barker is a former Ulster player who is a serious asset to the league. He barged his way over from close range, and lock Ronan McCusker also crossed soon after, rewarding a pacy attack involving backs and forwards.

McCusker was an influential figure in disrupting Seapoint’s lineouts and as the Dubliners continued to struggle, Rainey pushed further ahead with the bonus point score from replacement Aidan McSwiggan off a scrum.

Despite a heavy rain shower and dark clouds, which saw the floodlights switched on, man-of-the-match Barker made sure the Rainey pack kept probing for openings. The hosts’ fifth and final try duly arrived in the 66th minute when ex-Malone clubman Johnny Burgess scored from an Andrew pass, with Michael McCusker’s powerful carry building the initial momentum.

Midleton, who lost 24-17 to Rainey last week, played out a very entertaining 22-all draw with Boyne at Shamrock Lodge. The Drogheda side led 14-0 after half an hour, but tries from Paul Daly, Aidan McCarthy, Sean White and Daniel Murray ensured a share of the spoils for the east Cork outfit.

It was Midleton’s third try-scoring bonus point of the campaign sees them remain six points behind Rainey. Daly and White are their leading try scorers so far with three each.

Bruff climbed off the bottom of the table with a nail-biting 26-25 triumph over Sligo at Kilballyowen Park. They scored three tries in the final quarter, including a Tony Cahill effort right at the death, to finally break their early season duck.

Continuing the trend for high-scoring, action-packed games in round 4, Navan emerged as 47-37 winners over Kanturk in an epic 11-try thriller at Knocknacolan.

Conor Cremin’s second successful penalty nudged Kanturk into a 27-26 interval lead, with Ronan O’Brien, Daithi Fitzpatrick and captain Sean Cremin all touching down. The latter finished with a hat-trick (the second of his career), but Alan Kingsley’s men held the aces with a three-try second half haul.

It was a fitting way for Navan to mark their winger and former captain Simon Hogan’s 100th Ulster Bank League appearance. He is the Co. Meath club’s first ever player to achieve the feat.

Meanwhile, Tullamore postponed all of their adult games over the weekend as a mark of respect to the family of Donal Hegarty who sadly passed away on Friday. Their Division 2C clash with Bangor will be rescheduled. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.