2nd XV Prevail in Top of the Table Clash
By Stephen Walker
City of Derry 2nd XV Match Report
City of Derry RFC 2nd XV Match Report
(vs Enniskillen 2nd XV, 10/11/18)
City of Derry 20 – 14 Enniskillen
On Saturday 10th November 2018, City of Derry 2nd XV hosted Enniskillen 2nd XV at the Craig Thompson Stadium. With weather conditions perfect, the prospect of a fast-flowing game of rugby looked inevitable. Morale was high in the changing rooms, with the 2nd XV looking to put a disappointing draw against Ballymena behind them. There was no room for error this time around, as this match in Ulster Rugby Provisional League division 3 was a top of the table clash.
Although Enniskillen arrived late, resulting in a 10 minute delay on kick-off. They too were hungry for victory, providing an excellent game of rugby. Derry lost the toss and kicked off playing towards the main road. Enniskillen didn’t take long to shake off their bus journey, opening the scoring, taking a 5 point lead after missing the conversion.
Derry responded well, not allowing heads to drop and playing the free-flowing attacking rugby that they have been displaying all season. However, the final ball wasn’t going to hand. Although, the try was coming, perseverance from the men in green allowed full back Mark Craig to join the line of attack and score in the corner. With the conversion missed, scores were level at 5-5.
Both sides were eager to attack, running their phases, this meant both teams had to front up defensively. Derry No.8 Jonathan Lyons was making his presence known to the Enniskillen back line, putting in some huge tackles when called upon. However, Enniskillen got the better of this mid-point exchange, slotting over two easy penalties on the cusp of the half-time whistle.
Half Time Score: City of Derry 5 – 11 Enniskillen
The Half-Time break allowed Derry to recompose themselves, coming into the second period with a renewed vigour in their play. Thus, resulting in Enniskillen conceding a penalty in which scrum-half Daire Walker calmly slotted over, reducing the deficit to 3 points. However, another soft penalty conceded by Derry allowed Enniskillen to once again, stretch their lead. With the scoreboard now reading City of Derry 8 – 14 Enniskillen, Derry knew they had to put the next points on the board.
The next 20 minutes once again lived up to the competitive nature of the game. With phases being built by both sides. The atmosphere was tense, however, the passion Derry showed prevailed, allowing Mark Craig once again to join the attack and score for his second of the game. The difficult conversion was missed, meaning Enniskillen still boasted a lead. All be it a slender lead of one point.
This only motivated the Derry attack more. Derry Scrum dominated all day, providing a solid base for the Centre partnership of Alexandre Renaud and Garry Boyle to display their abilities. Running cutting lines and making hard yards phase after phase. Constant pressure from the partnership paid dividends when Captain Gary Boyle broke the Enniskillen defensive line, great support from winger Nathan Cole allowed Gary to slip Nathan in for a try under the posts. Daire Walker added the valuable points, which gave Derry the lead for the first time in the game. City of Derry 20 – 14 Enniskillen.
With time ticking, Enniskillen were determined to test the Physical and Mental ability of Derry. Throwing everything they had at the Derry defence. However, the men in green put their bodies on the line, taking the fight to Enniskillen. With a great defensive effort from all 15 men, Derry seen out the tense finish, securing the win and ultimately top spot in the table.
Final Score: City of Derry 20 – 14 Enniskillen
Victory has ensured Derry’s position at the top of the table going into their short break. However, Coaches Andy King and Everett Sherrard are determined to use this break to build on this success, allowing the team to maintain their position at the top of the League. City of Derry 2nd XV will next face Belfast Harlequins on the 1st December 2018.