City of Derry were out of the blocks quickly yesterday with early scores rocking pre-match favourites Ballynahinch in the Crawford Cup Final at Ravenhill. Derry looked sharper throughout and went on to win the game by 28 – 7.
The first score came in the opening minutes when the impressive Derry fullback Richard People slotted an early penalty. Derry increased their lead further with a breakaway try by winger Rudi Moore who intercepted on the Hinch 22 and touched down under the posts. People converted to give a 10 – 0 lead.
With the bulk of the play in the Ballynahinch half the pressure eventually told with People slotting a second penalty and with the clock running down for the first half Moore grabbed his second try following up a neat chip to score in the corner. People converted from wide to add the extras taking the halftime score to 20 – 0.
Hinch attempted to stage a fight back at the start of the second half and kept Derry pinned deep in their half. The pressure told with Derry No. 8 Brian Prue carded for pulling down a maul and shortly after Hich finally got on the scoreboard with a well taken break by scrum half Oran Fletcher. His dummy and dart took him under the posts to score and out half Christopher Kirk added the conversion to take the score to 20 – 7 with over 25 minutes remaining.
Hinch pushed hard to add another score but it was Derry who were the more clinical side. A rare sortie into the Hinch half saw People convert a third penalty with ten minutes to go and from then on it was all Derry.
Hinch, desperate to break the siege by Derry, tried running from deep only to be scragged behind their own line. From the resulting 5 meter scrum Derry’s forwards pounded the Hinch defence giving an opportunity for, the always alert, People to snatch the ball from a couple of yards out and dive over for the final score of the match.
Despite two attempts, the conversion was missed leaving the score 28 – 7.
City Of Derry II: Richard People, Craig Inglis, Adam Bratton, Gary Boyle, Rudi Moore, Richard Allen, Philip Duffy, Brian Prue, Mark Walker, Mike Ryan, Stephen Duffy, Philip Brady, Emmett Glenn, Cahal Cregan, Eamon McIvor, Mark Hamill, Dave Oram, Chriss McDonald, Ian Orr, Lee Smith.
Ballynahinch III: Peter Bell, Andy Barr, Thomas Turner, David Martin, Gareth Morrison, Christopher Kirk, Oran Fletcher, Alan Dickson, Garth Murdock, Ryan Lusk, Michael Davidson, Neil Douglas, Ian Dorman, Calvin Morton, William Dickson, Keith Dickson, Ross Dickson, John Madden, Rob Irvine, Jeremy Nash.