Randalstown 1's 25 - 15 UUC 1's
On Saturday Randalstown 1st XV entertained the students from Coleraine who have been newly promoted to Qualifying League 2 this season.
UUC started off strongly and put a lot of pressure on the home defence which resulted in an early penalty giving them a 0-3 lead.
As the game progressed, Randalstown came into their own putting pressure on the visitors’ scrums and lineouts. From a scrum near the UUC line, scrum half Chris McGoldrick beat the defence to score a try which out half Martin Connolly converted to make it 7-3.
The visitors were forced into a reshuffle shortly after this when they lost one of their centres to a head injury but they continued to defend well against increasing Randalstown attacks.
Eventually their defence did succumb to pressure and it was flanker Kyle Hetherington who scored a try in his first appearance against his former club. Connolly converted and added a penalty to leave the score 17-3 in Randalstown’s favour at half time.
Shortly after the restart, the hosts got their third try. After some good phase play from the forwards, a break down the blind side was finished off by wing Connor Murray who ran in from 20 metres after a fine pass from full back Daniel McGlade. The score was unconverted but Randalstown were now 22-3 ahead.
The loss of McGoldrick to the sin bin saw UUC get a converted try back to reduce the arrears to 22-10. With replacement Niall McGlade also sent to the bin, the students capitalised again and came within a score at 22-15.
In the end though it was the hosts who finished on the front foot as they ensured their visitors did not eat into their lead any further and another penalty by Connolly rounded off the scoring at 25-15 in favour of the men in red and white.
It was a good win for Randalstown and credit must go to the students who, after a shaky start to the season, have found form in their last three games and have shown they will not be the easy target many expected them to be.
RANDALSTOWN 1ST XV: Daniel McGlade; Connor Murray; Matthew McWhinney; Adam Johnston; Coby Mason; Martin Connolly; Chris McGoldrick; Matthew McBrien; Scott Stevenson; Gary Hume; David Millar (Captain); Craig Barclay; Kyle Hetherington; Peter Knowles; Dan Wilson Replacements: Adrian Hayes; Niall McGlade