Gibson solo effort gives Rainey bragging rights
An exciting AIL 2A encounter full of open rugby was played in ideal conditions at Hatrick Park where the home side gained a one point win over their neighbours City of Derry 20-19.
The game ebbed and flowed but the defining moment came midway through the second half when Rainey's Man of the Match scrum-half Scott Gibson took a quick tap penalty and raced in from half-way.
Up until that point Derry were really in the game after taking the lead with a well-taken try from winger Johnny Kennedy who sprinted in for Richard McCarter to convert.
Rainey had levelled by the interval when Ross McCluskey converted a Stephen Rutledge try but a couple of scoring opportunities were squandered.
The Gibson try boosted Rainey confidence and this was followed with a McCluskey penalty.
Derry, though, came back after Cathal Cregan crashed over to make it 17-12.
The home team then added a McCloskey penalty but the last move of the game produced a Derry penalty try.
Banbridge started their challenge with a four try victory over Cashel 38-28.
Dungannon, in their first game since relegation, lost at home to Nenagh/Ormond 17-8 and the much bigger and stronger Thomond pack paved the way for a 32-20 success against Queen's.
In 2B Armagh 'sat back' and watched the ball being touched down following a missed penalty to give Old Crescent a losing bonus point 13-7 and Ards scored an Adam McKee try in their 60-5 defeat at Sligo.