Ulster Rugby Senior League: City of Derry RFC 1st XV 69pts v Rainey OB 1st XV 8pts

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City of Derry Rugby Club dismissed the challenge of Rainey with distain as they scored eleven try’s in this Preliminary Round of the Ulster Senior Cup played at Judges Road on Saturday last. Rainey finished mid table in All Ireland League Division 3 last season and Derry can have no fears when they commence their campaign in that division on the first Saturday in October after an absence of two seasons.

City of Derry Coach Bevan Lynch was upbeat after the game when he commented on his team’s performance “We got back to the style of play today that we were producing a couple of weeks ago and that pleased us as coaches. When you can keep ball in hand going forward early in the game you get a better perspective of the opposition’s strengths and weakness and then you play your opponents accordingly. The game today gave us the chance to play different combinations at different stages of the game and make full use of our replacements. We now have a few powerful ball carriers in our pack that can carry the ball at pace and create openings for themselves and others. We have a couple of tough encounters coming up in the Ulster League starting away to AIL Division 1 team Dungannon this Wednesday and then at home to Instonians on Saturday. We should be in a better position then to gauge where we stand for the season ahead.
City of Derry started in determined mood and this was epitomised by winger Rudi Moore who was returning to the starting line-up for the first time this season. Moore got himself on the scoreboard in the first 10 minutes of the game when he linked twice with Andrew Semple to score an unconverted try in the corner. The pressure was all coming from Derry early on with their forwards well in control, good controlled ball going forward allowed Semple to find Bob McKillop in support to drive over by the posts for a try converted by Richard McCarter to give Derry a 12pts to Nil lead with 12 minutes gone.
Rainey got some possession inside the Derry half on 25 minutes and their second row Michael Shields took play to the Derry 22 and former City of Derry player Mark O’Connor kicked a dropped goal to reduce the deficit to 12pts to 3pts. Derry brought on back row forward Richard Baird on 20 minutes and he immediately showed what an outstanding talented footballer he is with quick feet and great vision. There were 27 minutes gone when Baird playing at No 8 picked up from a scrum and scored an unconverted try to put Derry 17pts to 3 pts in front.
The Derry out half Richard McCarter was having an outstanding game and was influential in everything that was good about the home teams play. Derry won good line our ball on the half way line on 40 minutes, Semple found McCarter who made a great break and Semple was on hand to receive a try scoring pass which he accepted to score between the posts with McCarter converting to leave Derry leading at the break by 24pts to 3pts.

The second half started as the first had ended with the influential McCarter tacking play into the Rainey 22 with a kick, from the resulting line out Derry drove and their rejuvenated prop David Witherow who cant stop scoring produced a another memorable try in the corner which McCarter converted from the touch line. The game was over as a contest on 48 minutes when David Houston who was running some lovely lines made a break from midfield and found Man of the Match Rudi Moore in support to score a converted try to put Derry out of sight leading 38pts to 3pts.
Derry won possession from the kick-off and Richard McCarter once again showed his class to make a great break from his own half and find young Simon Logue who continued the move and return the ball to McCarter to score a try which he converted himself to put Derry in front 45pts to 3pts. Derry once again won possession from the kick-off and this time Richard Baird made the break and found Tom Patton in support to score an unconverted try to put Derry 50pts to 3pts in front with just 52 minutes gone.
Rainey got a dubious consolation try on 60 minutes when they won a penalty and kicked for touch 10 metres form the Derry line, they won possession from the lineout and second row Peter Stewart was deemed to have touched down for an unconverted try to leave Derry leading by 50pts to 8pts. The try of the match came from Richard McCarter on 64 minutes, Rainey kicked aimlessly from their own 22 and McCarter collected inside his own half and then ghosted past several Rainey defenders before touching down between the posts, Peter Henderson added the conversion for a 57pts to 8pts Derry lead.

Derry completed their rout of Rainey with two further try’s, firstly Richard People produced a typical surging run breaking three Rainey tackles before finding Simon Logue who in turn released Rudi Moore to complete his hat trick with an unconverted try in the corner. Moore now full of confidence broke from his own 22 on 74 minutes and took play into the Rainey half where he found Simon Logue who produced a skip pass to release Stephen Duffy to score wide out with Peter Henderson kicking the conversion to complete the scoring and give Derry a convincing victory by 69pts to 8pts .
City of Derry Team: Davy Witherow, Sam McAuley, Sam Duffy, Chris Cooper, Bob McKillop, Stephen Corr, Stephen Ferguson, Stephen Sims, Andrew Semple, Richard McCarter, Rudi Moore, Ryan Campbell, David Funston, Simon Logue, Peter Henderson. Replacements: Stephen Duffy, David Houston, Richard Baird, Tom Patton, Richard Peoples.

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