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Experimental Randalstown come up short

Randalstown III fielded a mixture of youth and experience and a couple of 'exiles' running off extra turkey, but they still gave Ballynahinch VII a tough game, losing 20-17 in Minor East 2 at Neilsbrook Park.

It was not as free flowing as their first encounter in October when Hinch won 60-31, but full credit to the home defence who had to withstand some sustained pressure.

Hinch soon asserted their authority when a quickly taken penalty five metres from the home line by Jonny Wilson resulted in the No 8 crashing over for Joel Callaghan to convert. They continued to have the upper hand and went further in front when their impressive full-back Ray McCavery added a second goaled try.

Undaunted Town fought back in front of their large crowd of spectators with a penalty from young full-back David McWhirter.

This gave them renewed encouragement and, with the help of captain Adie Johnston, put together some good attacking phases. Michael Hamilton, powered on by his new Christmas 'dayglo' boots, initiated a move from his own half and assisted by Joe Cross, Simon Moon and Willie Fleck, the ball came to the ever improving Graham Hume who went over for McWhirter to add the points.

The second half was evenly contested until Town had a player binned. The visitors took advantage with two penalties from their man of the match Callaghan, but Town came back with a deserved injury time try.

Scrum-half David Frew picked up from the base of a scrum on halfway and raced down the blindside to out sprint the defence for the best of the afternoon, which McWhirter goaled.

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