Derry force an early end
By Louis Fields
City of Derry RFC 50 - 0 Inishowen RFC
City of Derry RFC U18 Match Report
(vs Inishown, 6/10/18)
City of Derry RFC 50 - 0 Inishowen RFC
Conditions on Saturday 6th October were perfect for a game of rugby, City of Derry Under 18’s were playing Inishowen under 18’s in Derry’s second fixture of the northwest carpet league. Derry had arrived early at the Craig Thompson Stadium to ensure that they were fully prepared for the impending match. They looked focused and energetic during the warm up.
Inishowen began the match well running hard into Derry. Derry’s pack allowed Inishowen’s big ball carriers to bully their way around the field and gain yards well into Derry’s half and continue right on up to Derry’s 22. Derry had a lazy defence falling off tackles with a lot of ball watching instead of man on man tackling and players taking charge.
Things went from bad to worse for Derry when for the first time in the season, Derry’s pack had been driven back during a scrum on Derry’s ten-meter line. Inishowen broke from the scrum and ran at the Derry backs, looking like they would do damage to the sleepy Derry side. This continued until the referee had to stop play due to a head injury. At that time, the Derry coaches were able to rally Derry and from that point on, Derry stepped up a gear.
Derry’s forwards won the ball back from Inishowen and went on a rampage lead by Adam Pollock, cutting through the Inishowen line and backed by his back row partner Dara Gill. Adam Pollock crossed the line first, taking two Inishowen players who had attempted a tackle with him. From then on, Derry began to run with confidence.
Derry’s next score came from Cein McColgan. Cein ran at the Inishowen line handing off three attempts at a tackle and backed himself for the line. Adam Pollock was in for his 2nd try of the game with Mark Grant stepping up and kicking the conversion. At this stage, Inishowen’s heads began to drop and they began a verbal exchange with one another behind the posts.
This fed Derry’s appetite for success and they continued to overturn the ball in Inishowen’s half, making the hard yards through the forwards that set up the back line to run their patterns. Conor Mullin was next in under the posts with the conversion kicked by Mark Grant.
Dara Gill was one of Derry’s star players of the day and won the accolade of man of the match for his performance. He was involved in all plays of the match and put himself around the park, putting in massive tackles and poaching numerous balls in the ruck. He also managed to get in under the posts after twenty-five minutes with Mark Grant adding the conversion.
Ruairi Harking was next under the posts after a prior strong run was ended prematurely with him being pushed into touch by three Inishowen players, and in the process, losing his shorts. This time he was not to be undone and went in right under the posts with Mark Grant adding the conversion.
Half time could not come quick enough for the weakened side of Inishowen who were down to 13 men, but Derry had a full bench at their disposal. The coaches emptied the bench and that saw the introduction of Conor McMeniman to the game and it didn’t take him long to get to work.
After a strong ten minutes from Inishowen, Derry managed to steel the ball and Conor McMeniman ran through the Inishowen defence and half of the field to score under the posts. Conor was very close to another try minutes later when the ref blew his whistle to stop play for an Inishowen head injury, which frustrated Conor who had now become comfortable with the ball in hand.
Inishowen ended up down to twelve men and minutes later Eoin Coyle scored a try after a lovely break from his own half. Mark Grant kicked the conversion again. At that point, the referee called a halt to the proceedings, 20 minutes before the whistle should have gone.
Full time score : Derry 50 - 0 Inishowen
City of Derry would like to thank the referee for turning up at short notice, Inishowen for giving us the game and the supporters on the side line. We would also like to thank Craig Thompson for his support before and during the game.