Patient Randalstown take big stride towards title
Randalstown II and Ballynahinch III are the only teams in the Junior League with maximum points and this is something of an achievement for the Co Antrim side with 10 victories, including a 26-0 triumph over their nearest rivals City of Derry III in Section IV.
Town were uncharacteristically slow to start at Neilsbrook and Derry had the upper hand in the opening exchanges, pinning the home side down in their own territory.
However, the ball was cleared for a line out and prop Simon Adams sped away to score.
Town manager Gregor Sloan said: "We struggled to find gaps in the Derry defence until, with half-time approaching, a penalty at close quarters gave us the opportunity of an attacking line out.
"The pack rumbled forward and captain Sammy Hyndman was able to pick up and stretch over. We kept attacking after the restart and Conor Murray, who contributed three conversions, just strayed into touch while going over but shortly afterwards Ryan McGarry sprinted in."
Derry managed to control their opponents for a time but there was still one try to come and it was probably the best of the afternoon.
Sloan explained: "It started when Chris McGoldrick passed inside to Matty Turner and his long looping pass was gathered by Murray, who linked with Sam Maguire and he danced through but was inches short. Turner was up in support to touch down."
Randalstown have now opened up a six-point lead over Derry with a game in hand and Sloan was delighted with the victory.
"It wasn't our finest performance but we put together some great phases of play. Our set-pieces worked well all afternoon but unfortunately we now have a break until January 10, which hopefully will not interfere with our momentum," he concluded.
Other Section IV results: Donaghadee II 17 Carrickfergus III 23, Instonians III 27 Ballymoney III 5.