Centre Jody McMurray’s converted try was enough to give Rainey victory in the first round of the Senior Cup against Queen’s at the Dub.
The Old Boys had trailed 18-13 at the break but dominated the second before the centre’s late try which was converted by new signing Chris Ladlier sealed the Magherafelt side’s place in the quarter finals.
The two sides had met in Belfast a week earlier with Rainey winning convincingly but with both sides bolstered by returning players this was a much closer affair.
It was the students who started brightly but Rainey broke the deadlock on 10 minutes.
From their first sustained period of pressure in the Queen’s 22 the forwards worked the ball through a series of phases before flanker Darren Corrigan picked up at the bottom of the ruck and crashed over with Ladlier adding the conversion.
Queen’s responded with a penalty from out half Jack Milligan after a strong drive from the forwards after the restart.
Ladlier restored Rainey’s seven point advantage on 15 minutes with a long range penalty.
Milligan pushed a penalty wide before the students got their first try on 25 minutes.
Winger Mark Gordon fielded a long clearance of the visitors defence in his own half, he set of on a jinking run and carried deep into the Rainey 22 before offloading to flanker Zac Jordan to score in the corner but Milligan failed to convert.
Ladlier was on target with a 35th minute penalty after the students were punished for not rolling away at the ruck.
Milligan replied with a penalty three minutes later and Queen’s got their second try in first half injury time.
Centre Francis Collins led a break on of defence down the left wing, the ball was moved across the field to Ryan Clarke, he drove close to the Rainey before being hauled down but was able to pop the ball to second row partner Marc Campbell to score, Milligan missed the converted.
Ladlier missed a penalty 10 minutes after the restart when the home side were caught offside.
Queen’s had flanker Saul Herdman yellow carded and Rainey kicked to the corner but the home defence held.
Rainey should have scrum from a five metre scrum, they were marching forward and won a penalty, they opted for another set piece and again got the nudge on but as they walked close to the line they picked at the base of the scrum and Queen’s were able to win the turn over.
The Old Boys were encamped in the Queen’s 22 for most of the second half and eventually turned their pressure into points.
Queen’s won their own lineout ball close to the 22 as they moved the ball in field a ruck formed scrum half Josh Fullerton to clear with a box kick but it was charged down, Rainey full back Gavin Martin pounced on the loose ball and carried into the 22 before sending McMurray clear under the posts and Ladlier knocked over the simple conversion.
Queen’s: J Milliken, M Gordon, P Farrell, F Collins, C Delvin, J Milligan, J Fullerton,
A Lupari, S Finlay, B Cunningham, R Clarke, M Campbell D Whitten, Z Jordan, S Herdman
Rainey: G Martin M Barr, R Andrew, J McMurray, M McClelland, C Ladlier, A Donaghy
S Rutledge, K Donaghy, J Donaghy, R McCusker, M McCusker, D Corrigan, B Mullan, A Harbinson