City of Derry Under 17s claim Ulster Plate

City of Derry Under 17s celebrate their Ulster Plate success on Saturday.
City of Derry Under 17s celebrate their Ulster Plate success on Saturday.

City of Derry Rugby Club’s Under 17s outscored Monaghan by nine tries to one in Cookstown on Saturday to win the Ulster Plate Competition in convincing fashion.

Monaghan 10

City of Derry Rugby Club’s Under 17s outscored Monaghan by nine tries to one in Cookstown on Saturday to win the Ulster Plate in convincing fashion.

Derry hit the ground running and scored two tries inside 60 blistering seconds with just 10 minutes gone. The first was a flowing five man move along the back line just 22m out which eventually found centre Ryan McMenamin who touched down. The kick-off was then fielded by Corey Logan who showed power and pace to make a 40m break from his own half and feed Dixon to run in unchallenged from 30m for a try he converted himself for a 10-0 lead.

Monaghan got themselves on the scoreboard on 15 minutes with a 25m penalty to reduce the arrears but the Derry pack were firing on all cylinders now with the front row Eoin Ferry, Adam Welsh and Mel Harkin creating a solid platform. The work rate of Danny Millar at No. 8 and second rows Ashley Doherty and Isaiah Morris was impressive as they combined to give quality ball to out-half Aiden Donaghy. Donaghy connected with Dixon, running a perfect line to take him 60m to touch down for a memorable unconverted try and a 17-3 lead.

Impressive wing-forward Conor O’Hare, with a massive hand off, then set up another Logan run-in for an unconverted try on 23 minutes. Millar’s powerful runs were taking four or five opponents out of the game and he set up centre Ryan McMenamin to release Logan once again who, with a clever dummy, powered in from 40m. With Dixon converting Derry were in front by 29-3. Monaghan did get in for a converted try on 35 minutes but already the half time score of 29-10 was looking ominous.

The early second half pressure came from Monaghan but the Judges Road men broke out of defence when Conor Walton made a break 13 minutes in and found his full-back Rien Walker who went past five players en route to touching down for a special try.

Derry coaches Nathan Deeney and Phil Duffy went to the bench to bring on Ittai Raz, Matthew Robinson and Danny Seaman who all made an impression. Derry’s outstanding centres, Dixon and McMenamin, combined for the latter to release Aiden Donaghy with an ‘overhead basketball’ style pass 50m out, Donaghy showing great pace to touch down for a 43-10 lead.

Derry finished in style when ‘Man of the Match’ Logan won possession in midfield and releasing winger Ronan Doherty to score an unconverted try. From the kick-off Logan fielded possession and showed tremendous power to run 60m to touch down between the posts and seal a great team victory and outstanding individual performance. Jack Dixon converted for a final tally of 55- 10.

City of Derry; Eoin Ferry, Adam Welsh, Mel Harkin, Isaiah Morris, Ashley Doherty, Corel Logan, Conor O’Hare, Daniel Miller(Captain), Conor Walton, Aiden Donaghy, Ronan Doherty, Ryan McMenamin, Jack Dixon, Lorcan Jackson, Rian Walker. Replacements; Ittia Raz, Matthew Robinson, Danny Seaman.