In perfect playing conditions Harlequins kicked off. City of Derry fielded well but failed to find touch allowing Harlequins to run the ball wide for Richard Lutton to go over in the corner to give Harlequins an immediate 5-0 lead. Straight from the kick off City of Derry gained possession and after four good forward drives the ball was fed to Philip Brady who drove over to leave the score 5-5. The next eight minutes saw both teams kicking rather than running with the ball. Rudi Moore the City of Derry winger, just back from injury, had a good run but was stopped short of the Harlequins line. From the subsequent line out City of Derry fed the backs and secured a penalty in front of the Harlequin posts. David Murdock made no mistake with the kick to give City of Derry an 8-5 lead. Harlequins were soon back with a 50 metre run by their impressive winger Andrew Pollock who went around two City of Derry players to score under the posts. Mark Thompson converted to give Harlequins a 12-8 lead.
Both teams played aggressively with possession changing back and forward. Harlequins secured a long-range penalty but were unsuccessful with the kick. This was a changing point as City of Derry started to dominate. Stephen Duffy, the City of Derry scrum half, made an impressive an impressive run but was held up on the Harlequins 22 metre line. From the subsequent scrum Philip Duffy went around the blind side to nip through for a try under the posts. The conversion by David Murdock put City of Derry in the lead by 15-12. City of Derry started to dominate the scrums from one of which they secured a penalty. They opted for a kick to touch near the Harlequin’s try line. Securing possession the forwards drove with Adam McDuff eventually feeding the ball out to David Murdock to go over wide giving City of Derry a 20-12 lead at half time.
The second half showed City of Derry dominating the scrums, showing more aggression in the loose and their backs running with flair. Harlequins never, however, gave up and produced some good runs by their talented backs. It was from the dominant scrums that City of Derry were able to feed the ball to Philip Duffy who fed back the second row Adam McDuff to drive over for a try. David Murdock converted to give City of Derry a comfortable 27-12 lead. City of Derry increased their lead to 32-12 when Rudi Moore went over in the corner from a ball fed out wide. With 10 minutes remaining Harlequins refused to give up and were rewarded with a well deserved try by Austin Blackburn to bring the score back to 32-17. It was City of Derry who struck back with some impressive forward play allowing Philip Duffy to score out wide to increase City of Derry’s lead to 37-17. Although City of Derry were dominating forward play it was Harlequins who had the final score from a try by Gavin McLaughlin. Mark Thompson converted to leave the final score 37-14 in favour of City of Derry.
After the match City of Derry coach, Sean O’Kane, said he was delighted with the performance of the young players who had moved up from the lower teams for this match.
City of Derry
Nick Donner, Greg Inglis, David Graham, Stephen Brennan, Rudi Moore, David Murdock, Philip Duffy, Eamon McIvor, Cathal Creggan, Paddy Owens, Adam McDuff, Philip Brady, William Green, Peter McCartney, Brian Prue Capt.