City of Derry target Ulster success

THEIR HISTORIC 1999 achievement greets every visitor the moment they set foot in Judges Road but Bevan Lynch is backing his City of Derry squad to provide some new decor for the clubhouse this Thursday night as they go in search of only their second ever Ulster Senior Cup title against Dungannon at Ravenhill (k.o. 7.30pm).

The names and images of Keith Gallick, Seamus Mallon, Neil Stewart, Robbie Millar and the rest of the club's superb double-winning squad have adorned the club's entrance ever since that memorable 22-18 victory, overseen by coaches Gerald McCarter, Mark McFeely and Ricky Huey.

The stories are well known within the club and have provided motivation to many of the current squad as they brought the club back from the depths of Junior Rugby last season to stand on the brink of greatness. Lynch for one believes it's time the club had some new heroes to look to.

"Our club wouldn't be the smartest on the decor side of things and the players are keen to get some new posters up in the clubhouse because they must be sick of looking at some of the legendary moments, the Keith Gallick moments," smiled Lynch.

"If our players want to get those pictures down and get some new ones up, it's all up to their own work ethic and I really hope they do it. I would love to see those great old pictures moved to another pride of place. It would be nice to get some fresh ones up."

Derry warmed up for only their third ever appearance in the Ulster showpiece with a fantastic 28-26 battling victory over AIL Two side Queens on Saturday and it will take a similar performance to get the better of Justin Fitzpatrick's aristocratic side.

Despite having already defeated Dungannon this season, Lynch, who is sweating on the fitness of Bob McKillop, is under no illusions about the task ahead.

"We were quite a weakened side when we played at Dungannon earlier in the season and I think they know that. That was a good battle and we are expecting another on Thursday.

Both sides are well balanced but I rate our forward pack. We'll be looking to take it to them up front but a few boys answered the call against Queens.

"The thing is, and it is a great position to be in, we are not intimidated by anyone. Whether it's Ballynahinch with their full complement of contracted players or whoever, we'll give it a rip. If we play well on Thursday we are in with a shout and that's a nice place for a club to be in," he added.