Plenty of Positives for U18 side
By Stephen Walker
CDRFC U18 v Foyle 1st XV Match Report
CDRFC U18 VS Foyle 1st XV
CDRFC 12 - Foyle 42
On Saturday 24th November City of Derry U18’s took on Foyle College U19’s for the second time this season. City of Derry had been dormant for 2 weeks and were desperate for a game. However, they were without influential club captain Mark Grant and a number of other key players. The game was played with 3 25 minute thirds to allow input from both coaching teams.
From the kick off possession was lost by both teams in contact but the first sustained pressure was seen by Foyle with City of Derry defence far too narrow and they were somewhat fortunate to prevent Foyle from crossing the line. City of Derry tight defence was competent but their inability to fan out wide or identify Foyle’s key player was to prove costly.
An unfortunate ankle twist saw the key player Dara Gill leave the field and although he returned later in the 1st third it hampered his play throughout the rest of the game. Whilst Gill was on the bench Foyle made use of their early pressure, scoring a try wide out by Scott Pollock which was converted by Keelin Coyle. Foyle 7-0 up. Coyle was to have an immaculate day from the kicking tee eventually finishing with 6 conversions.
City of Derry were then able to find a foothold in the game with Gill breaking the gain line with a lovely angle of attack and perhaps was guilty of not pinning his ears back and seeing where this would take him. At the end of the first third Derry could be satisfied with only being 7-0 down.
CDRFC 0 - 7 Foyle
The start of the second third brought a welcome try from Derry with Eoin Coyle intercepting a pass out wide and then able to run in close to the posts. For reasons unknown Paul Nicholl decided to kick the conversion from a considerable distance and this was missed. Derry down 5-7.
However, there was an instant response from Foyle with Coyle chipping in the corner and Milligan finishing before Derry had a chance to clear. Again Coyle hit a superb conversion from wide out.
Despite a couple of barnstorming runs from Cein McColgan and stout defensive work in the tight Derry’s poor defence out wide once cost them dear with Finlay scoring for Foyle and Coyle converting again. Just prior to the end of the second third Coyle scored a try of his won which again he converted.
CDRFC 5-28 Foyle
The third period of play saw E. Coyle grab his second try which Nicholl was able to convert to leave Derry 12-28 down. It was this period of play where Foyle’s superior fitness told and with Finlay and Milligan both grabbing their second of the game, further increasing Foyles lead and with Coyle converting both the lead had now stretched to 12-42. Following a period of scrappy play full time was blown.
Full Time: CDRFC 12-42 Foyle
This was a disappointing result for Derry with players playing too close to the ruck and maul, attempting to challenge at the ruck when Foyle had secured possession and not identifying Foyle’s playmaker Coyle. Derry needed to get off the gain line quicker and perhaps blitz Coyle to give him far more space than he had all day. Any good player will punish you with the time and space Derry gave him.
A more possession based game with some old fashioned pick and go may have benefited Derry and kept the score much closer. When up to full strength Derry are capable of competing and beating Foyle and the Boxing day rematch will be eagerly anticipated.