Rainey in history crusade

Malone's John Creighton
Malone's John Creighton

Remarkably Rainey Old Boys have made history in every round of the First Trust Ulster Senior Cup this season, and they hope it continues when they face Malone in a semi-final tie at Gibson Park.

The All Ireland League Division 2B high fliers had never got through the first round of the competition before and it would be a huge achievement if they were to make the December 12 final at Ravenhill.

The Magherafelt based club had hoped for a home draw in the penultimate stage and travel to Belfast today as huge underdogs.

Club president, Arnie McClean, said the club was on a bit of a high this year continuing to build on a couple of good season which has seen them emerge as one of the top sides in Division 2B of the AIL.

“Yes the focus is on the league and things are going well, but it would be great to make the final of the Cup.

“Up until this year we had never got past the first round, so it has been a tremendous achievement to get to the semi-finals. We will be up against it against Malone, but we have nothing to lose and we have already surprised a few of the top sides this season.”

Rainey remain unbeaten in their league section, while Malone, after a blistering start to Division 1B, have suffered three straight defeats.

The Belfast side have played in 22 previous finals, but have been the bridesmaid for the majority. Their most recent appearance was in 2010 when they lost to Queen’s.

Coach Jacques Benade has a strong side to pick from with Jake Caulfield in the front row, John Creighton at outhalf and Josh Pentland in the centre, while captain, Glen Moore will lead a hard working backrow which includes Neil Faloon and John Ogilby.

There is a derby feel to the other semi-final with City of Derry travelling to Eaton Park to face Cup holders, Ballymena. It is a repeat of last year’s semi where Ballymena defeated the Londonderry side away.