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Rainey consolidate Junior League 3 leadership with easy win

By RONNIE INGRAM

Junior League 3 leaders Rainey III achieved a 26-11 win at Limavady III but the victory margin would have been greater if they hadn't squandered so many scoring opportunities at the Hunter Memorial Pitches.

Thomas McCauley kicked an early Limavady penalty but then the visiting forwards started to gain the upper hand and scrum-half Connor Magee picked up and dived over following good work by young John McKenna.

A catch and drive from the home '22' resulted in Declan McKenna being held up over the line.

Rainey kept up the pressure and should have scored again but following a forward charge by Gavin McGucken the ball slipped from his grasp.

Kenny Irvine dashed in for his second try of the season before Limavady retorted with a second McCauley penalty.

The Magherafelt team struck back again when great handling by centres Mark Montgomery and Paddy Kidd led to Andrew Campbell running in at the corner.

Irvine kicked two conversions to make the interval score 19-6.

"The conditions worsened as the game progressed and play became scrappy with many handling mistakes by both teams," said visiting captain Colin Patterson.

Limavady deservedly reduced the gap when following a number of pick and goes flanker Matthew Irvine found a gap to cross for an unconverted try.

For a time play was contested between the 22s with some hard tackling but, with 15 minutes remaining, Irvine was yellow carded and Rainey kicked for the corner. From the ensuing line-out the ball was carried over the line and Declan McKenna was the last to emerge with the ball. Irvine goaled.

"Despite our lead we kept forcing the pace and our speedy wingers Daultach Johnston and Mark Donnelly made breaks but a number of final passes went astray with the try line beckoning.

"All in all I was pleased with the effort and thanks to Limavady for a sporting game," added Patterson.

Rainey have now opened up a four-point gap over rivals Omagh III and Ballyclare III who both have two games in hand.

They next travel to City of Derry III on Saturday week.

In another entertaining Junior 3 game, Queen's III had an impressive 32-27 win at City of Derry III.

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