Ritchie McMaster’s late show helps seal Queen’s success over Rainey

Queen's and Wallace High School coach Derek Suffern. Pic by PressEye Ltd.
Queen's and Wallace High School coach Derek Suffern. Pic by PressEye Ltd.
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Ritchie McMaster landed a drop goal with the last kick of the game to give Queen’s a 20-17 victory over Rainey in the big All-Ireland League Division 2A derby at the Dub.

The three-point victory snapped a three-game losing streak for Queen’s and completed a perfect day for coach Derek Suffern, who’d earlier watched his Wallace High School team defeat Methody.

“There have been a couple of games in previous weeks where we have been in control and ahead and failed to close them off,” said Suffern. “We have been working very hard mentally to make sure we stay in the fight, show some resilience and just find a way.

“I thought the boys were superb and got their just rewards.

“We just shaded the overall performance and I think we deserved the win and it was a great drop goal from Ritchie at the end to take the victory on the final whistle.

“Rainey got on the front foot pretty easily and for two or three phases they were physical but I thought we D’ed up well and they didn’t get many line breaks.

“They got two scores off a scrum and that will happen at this level if we let them into the 22, our forwards front up so dealt up with their forwards pretty well.

“We knew losing three in a row it was important to win the next one to get back on the horse again and we’re absolutely chuffed at that one and, hopefully, we can kick on into the next two and if we can keep performing like that and showing our grit we should hopefully do well in the next two games.”

Andy McGrath gave Rainey the lead with a penalty, Johnny Hunter got the students’ first try before the Old Boys were awarded a penalty try.

David Swann’s converted try gave Queen’s a 12-10 half-time lead.

Captain David Whitten crossed for Queen’s but Mickey O’Neill’s converted score tied the game and that’s how it stayed until McMaster’s drop goal.

In Division 1A, Ballynahinch lost 35-19 to Cork Con.

Malone and Banbridge both enjoyed home bonus points wins in Division 1B but Armagh lost 21-13 at leaders Highfield.

Ballymena suffered a 43-16 defeat at Old Crescent in Division 2A, Belfast Harlequins leapfrogged Dungannon in Division 2B after a 38-10 bonus win over Ballina. Gannon lost 17-0 against Galwegians.

City of Derry edged Bangor 15-14 in the Division 2C Ulster derby while Omagh lost at Skerries.