City of Derry RFC will, for the third Saturday in a row, try to complete their All Ireland League Division 2B fixture against Rainey Old Boys following a waterlogged pitch at Judges Road two weeks ago and then snow in Magherafelt last weekend.
The two clubs were due to play back to back AIL fixtures in consecutive weekends but the inclement weather put paid to that. The initial fixture, due to be played on December 5th, has been set by the IRFU to be played at Judges Road this Saturday and last week’s fixture at Hatrick Park, Magherafelt has now been reset for Saturday, January 23rd replacing the Ballynahinch Ulster League Fixture.
With the weather looking more favourable, both sets of players will be happy to get back on the pitch. Rainey may have lost some of the momentum they gained from their excellent victory three weeks ago at home to second placed Highfield. Rainey dominated the set piece on the day, something Derry head Coach Terry McMaster will be mindful of as he approaches the game.
Derry struggled on the same day to put away a vastly improved bottom of the table side Seapoint in Dublin. The Judges Road men led at half-time by 15-3pts following tries from David Houston and David Funston but three unconverted tries in the second half from Seapoint who had the help of strong wind almost won the day. It took a magnificent team try from prop Sam Duffy to secure a 20-18 victory that kept Derry top of the table.
The last time the two sides met was on the first Saturday of last season in AIL Division 2A season when Rainey shocked Derry with a nail-biting 20-19 which will serve as a warning for McMaster men this weekend.
Terry McMaster and his charges will be well aware of what will be required to win at home and experience may prove key. Derry have the players with plenty of nous and should take the lessons from Highfield’s failings two weeks ago.
It will be physical and the conditions once again look set to be wet and windy so keeping mistakes to a minimum is paramount but the Judges Road men have the quality within their ranks to produce scores whatever the weather.
St. Stephen’s Day at Judges Road
Meanwhile, St. Stephen’s Day will once again be a big family day at the club. It will be a big day on the pitch with the Youth teams playing Foyle College and those games being followed immediately by the Ladies’ team playing the Golden Oldies and, of course, the Annual Waterside v Cityside Senior Fixture.
The Timetable for st. Stephen’s Day is; City of Derry U14s v Foyle College (11.30am); City of Derry U16s v Foyle College (11.30am); City of Derry U18s v Foyle College (12.30am); Golden Oldies v Ladies (1pm); Waterside V Cityside (2pm)
The respective Waterside and Cityside will be selected from; Ben Barber (Captain Cityside), Matthew Kilgore (Captain Waterside), Alex McDonald, Robbie House, Steven Walker, Corey Logan, Chris Love, Kyle Henderson, Milo Gleeson, Philip Duffy, Rodney Hill, Ross Scott, Mat Heaney, Luke Dalton, Eamon O’Leary, Ryan Spratt, Eoin Ferry, Stephen Brennan, Jason Mitchell, Briab Prue, Chris Killen, Kevin Quigg, Paddy Blenerhassett, Chris McDonald, T Higgins, Ian Vance, Jack Arthur, Phil Patterson, Brendan Ferguson, Ronan Flanagan, Rudi Moore, Conor Cummings, David Devine, Jonathan Lyons, Tiernan Thornton, Bob McKillop, William McCleery, Willie Green, Adam McDuff, Adam Blair, Stephen Duffy, Nathan Deeney, Daragh Mullan, Conor Sproole, John Lafferty, Scott Robinson, Kevin McLaughlin, Manus McLaughlin, Johnny Kennedy, Pakie, Kennedy, Barney McLaughlin, Michael Hanna, Paddy Owens, Tom Cameron, Jamie Devine, Jack Beattie, Kevin O’Connor, Michael Pool, Mark Smith.