2nds League 11th November 2023
Scorers: Canavan(1*Try), B.Brown(2*Try), Pollock(1*Conv, 1*Pen)

Omagh II entertained Rainey II at Mellon Park in the latest round of the Seconds League. Although Rainey started well, they eventually crashed to a 37-20 defeat as the Tyrone side eased away in the second-half.

In crisp sunshine and complete contrast to the fog enveloping Hatrick Park, Rainey had to withstand early Omagh pressure as the home side tested the visitors’ defence out wide early on. Weathering the storm, Rainey pushed back upfield, and a great solo break by centre Canavan gave them the opening score. Collecting the ball on halfway, he scythed through the defence and outpaced everyone to touch down between the posts. Scrum-half Pollock added the conversion.

Attempting to build upon the score Rainey tried to move the ball about from the restart, but when they were forced to kick, a sharp Omagh attack led to a score in the corner for the home side. The conversion was missed.

Undaunted, Rainey were soon back on the attack, and they looked sure to score in the corner when the referee blew for a short-arm hand-off and sent winger Crozier to the bin. Reduced to 14 men, they continued to play ambitiously, but once again an Omagh turnover caused play to switch to the Rainey end and despite frantic defence the home side added a second unconverted try.

Rainey had a chance to reply, forcing a 5m lineout, but the ball was stolen and play once more transferred to the visitors’ end, where a series of scrums eventually ended with the Omagh prop crashing over for their third unconverted try. They added a fourth when their attack produced an overlap on the right wing a few minutes later, but Rainey ended the half strongly with a try from lock B.Brown as he forced his way over from a 5m tap-penalty. The conversion was missed.

Another solo break by Canavan as the second-half opened took Rainey deep into Omagh territory, but again the chance went begging, but they reduced the deficit with a penalty from Pollock. However, Omagh were brimming with confidence and as they pressed an attack with an advantage coming, only a fantastic overhead catch by Crozier prevented a certain score from a crossfield kick. Opting for the penalty, they had no problem pushing the Rainey scrum over the line for the converted try.

Rainey continued to give of their best, but two further unconverted tries took Omagh out of sight. Finally, with a last throw of the dice, a rerun of the end of the first half saw Brown power his way over for his second try from a 5m penalty to end the game.

Team: D.O’Connor, C. McGlone, T.Hughes, M.Millar, B.Brown, P.Browne, B.Hall, D.Devlin, G.Pollock, L.Regan, T.Crozier, M.Mulholland, E.Canavan, R.Murray, AJ.Brown
SUBS: T.Henry, M.Gordon, C.Thornton


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