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Classy Rainey cruise past improving Ards

Rainey 33 - Ards 10

By Ronnie Ingram

Despite losing 33-10 to Rainey, this was a much better performance from Ards.

It will be a difficult few months for the Hamilton Park side as the bottom two teams in the Division will be relegated from Senior rugby and even the third last will face a play-off against the Junior Round-Robin winners to establish which team gains the final place next season.

On Saturday Rainey took a 20 point lead after Michael Sterling kicked a penalty after 13 minutes which was followed by tries from Michael Shiels and Mark Gordon for Mark O'Connor to goal both and add a penalty. Right on the interval Ards retorted when second row Ross Torney charged up the middle for winger Paul Cox to run in the final ten metres.

The home team kept up the momentum after the restart with a well worked try from Neil Anderson after two minutes but then the visitors struck back. Within a couple of minutes Timmy Emerson, who has been making a big impression at the club since his days at Dalriada, crossed for a try. O'Connor later added a penalty before Emerson got his second in the 75th minute.

Scott Young, who was acting captain in the absence of Stuart Paul was pleased with the improved performance. "Ross Torney, a hurler from Ballycran, is a great asset to the team while our under-18 captain Paddy Bond was only playing his second senior game and is an excellent prospect. Ryan Yates at No 8 showed his class on his return and in the backs Epi Ratu was superb.

"There have been signs of a better standard of rugby over the past few matches and if we can gain more confidence then the results will come. We know we are not the worst team in 2B but injuries have been our main problem and if they can be resolved then we have every chance of remaining in the Division," he concluded.

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