City of Derry RFC I XV 68pts v Suttonians I XV 28pts

6 minutes, 27 seconds Read

City of Derry Rugby Club stands proudly at the top of All Ireland League Division 3 following their second bonus point victory of the season when they defeated Suttonians from Dublin at Judges Road on Saturday last. Derry scored ten try’s in a high scoring game that produced 96pts in total and considering the first score of the game did not arrive until the twenty second minute, the large crowd were treated to an exhibition of attacking rugby from both teams on a beautiful warm sunny autumn afternoon.

90 Pictures here thanks to Bernard Doherty. E: – CLICK HERE –
There was a minutes silence before the game on Saturday as a mark of respect to Moss Keane who died on Tuesday last at the age of 62. Moss was a larger than life character on and off the rugby pitch and played rugby for Lansdowne, Munster, Ireland and the Lions. Moss was Irish by birth and Kerry by the grace of god and oh what a Kerryman he was! When asked what the highlight of his Lions tour to New Zealand in 1977 was, he replied phoning home one Sunday night and his mother telling him that Kerry had beaten Cork in the Munster Gaelic Football Final. That statement said so much about Moss.

When City of Derry were relegated from All Ireland League Rugby on Saturday 29th of March 2008 in Waterford after being beaten by Waterpark on a score line of 18pts to 5pts and finishing bottom of the league a return to Senior Rugby looked a distant impossibility. There was an air of doom and gloom hanging over the club and the top of AIL Division 3 were dreams of lunatics. A new Coaching setup plus an influx of young local players and two years in the Ulster Junior League playing winning rugby was the perfect rehabilitation. Today Derry’s brand of attacking continuity rugby and everyone playing a fifteen man style of game was made for AIL 3. The atmosphere around the club is invigorating and the large crowd on Saturday can’t wait for the next game to see more of the same.
Derry started their first AIL game at home for three seasons in a tentative state as their eagerness to impress the home support seemed to get to the players. The initial stages were littered with basic errors and risk taking that Suttonians were unable to capitalise on. The game was much fractured and eventually the experience of warrior supreme Bob McKillop shone through as a structure returned to Derry’s play.
The game was 22 minutes old when Derry got some decent possession in the Suttonians half of the pitch and loose possession was collected by David Houston over 30metres out and he galloped in for a try which was converted by Richard Peoples for a 7pts lead for the home team. The lead was short lived and three minutes later Suttonians came right back at Derry and when a knock on by Suttonians was not spotted by the officials on the half way line, it allowed play to continue and following a good forward drive centre Ronan Murphy got in for a try which out half Jamie Ward converted to level the scores at 7pts all.
Derry’s impetus was halted and it was another 12 minutes before the home outfit hit top form and took their play to another stratosphere and left Suttonians trailing in their wake. In a five minute spell that spanned half time Derry had scored 4 converted try’s and the game was over as a contest and all that had to be decided was the winning margin. On 37 minutes David Houston broke from the half way line and found Jack Caithness on the wing who passed inside for Tom Patton to score a converted try to the left of the posts. Patton had replaced Stephen Simms early in the game due to an ankle injury.

From the kick off Derry won possession and drove forward just inside Suttonians half, good vision by and a delicate chip kick by scrum half Andrew Semple allowed centre Simon Logue to out pace three defenders to gather the ball and rollover the line for another converted try. Once more in injury time Derry won the Kick off and Stephen Corr and Stephen Ferguson along with Sam Duffy took play into the opposition half and when quick ball was delivered by Sam McAuley, Semple once more found Logue to score the bonus point try which Peoples converted with the last kick of the half to give his team a 28pts to 7pts half time lead.
The second half started as the first had ended with Derry on the attack, forward driving by Patton, MaAuley and McKillop almost saw David Witherow get in for another try but it was left to Andrew Semple to capitalise on quick ruck ball and dart in a for a converted try with the second half just 2 minutes old and make it 35pts to 7pts for Derry. Suttonians did not lie down and following a great break from their own 22 by winger David Walsh, Captain Richard Delaney scored a try which was converted by Ward to make it 35pts to 14pts.
The Derry scrum had the upper hand all through and on 15 minutes Stephen Corr picked form No 8 and drove forward finding his scrum half Semple to score a converted try by the posts for a 42pts to 14pts score line. Suttonians came right back from the kick off and lack of concentration by Derry allowed centre Ronan Murphy in for a converted try but still make it double scores at 42pts to 21pts.
Peter Henderson at full back for Derry has been playing the best rugby of his career since the start of the season and the home support were treated to his full range of skills and pace that were encapsulated in his two try’s in the 18th and 22nd minutes of the second half. Firstly he broke from his own half with William McCleery supporting him on his outside, using McCleery as a decoy he dummied a pass at full pace taking out two defenders to score by the posts.. Then 2 minutes later he broke from his own half again and trusted his excellent pace on the outside to outsprint the defensive cover to score a converted try wide out to increase Derry’s lead to 56pts to 21pts.
Derry brought on Richard Baird in the back row who showed what an outstanding talent he is for the little game time he had. They also introduced Stephen Duffy at hooker and Ritchie McMaster was brought in to make his Senior debut in the backs. Suttonians came back once more and led by their captain Delaney, they got what they deserved for never giving up when he scored a converted try which gave them a bonus point for scoring 4 try’s and made the score 56pts to 28pts for Derry.
The game was finished off in style by the ETIC Solutions Man of the Match Simon Logue when he scored two outstanding try’s to bring his tally in the game to four. Richard Peoples converted one of Logue’s try’s to bring his personal tally to nine conversions and the final score to 68pts to 28pts. City of Derry’s next home game is this Saturday when the play Ards in the Ulster Senior Cup Quarter Final at Judges Road, Kick-off; 2.30pm.
City of Derry Team: Davy Witherow, Sam McAuley, Sam Duffy, Bob McKillop, David Houston, Stephen Corr, Stephen Ferguson, Stephen Simms, Andrew Semple, Richard Peoples, William McCleery, Ryan Campbell, Simon Logue, Jack Caithness, Peter Henderson. Replacements: Stephen Duffy, Chris Shields, Tom Patton, Richard Baird, Ritchie McMaster.

Similar Posts