Logue magic inspired depleted Derry in Dublin
CITY OF Derry moved up to seventh in the AIL Division 2A table after a comprehensive, five-try victory over bottom of the table De La Salle Palmerstown which was all but wrapped up inside a blistering 25 minute opening spell.
The result moves Derry up to seventh position, just five points outside the top four position with six games remaining and was made all the more remarkable by the fact that Derry were missing 12 senior squad members due to injury, sickness and other commitments.
Considering D.L.S.P. were playing in AIL Division 1 rugby three seasons ago and vying for promotion when they visited Judges Road last season, Derry Head Coach Mark Nicholl stressed their lowly league position had to be treated with scepticism and he got exactly the response he had hoped from his players.
The initial exchanges were even with the home side enjoying some had early pressure. They had already missed a penalty from 30m when there was an early warning of what would follow for the Leinster mean. Simon Logue, who was filling in at full back for the exam restricted Peter Henderson, pounced on loose ball in his own half and went on a mesmeric run past seven players before being stopped by the last man only 15m short of the line.
It was a warning which wasn’t heede as Derry were awarded a 9th minute penalty on half way. Logue took a quick tap penalty and broke forward to sidestep, skip and ‘dummy his way past several tackles. This time he drew the last man and passed to his ever alert scrum half Jack Caithness in support to touch down between the posts. When out-half Richard Peoples converted, Derry’s nerves were settled with a 7-0 lead.
DLSP whoever did not learn their lesson and when they again kicked loose ball to Logue three minutes later, he picked up inside his own half and created panic once more as he danced round several players before the move eventually broke down.
Confidence now surged through the Derry players and on 14 minutes captain David Funston made a great outside break following good work from Ryan Campbell and David Graham. Funston found the outstanding Richard Baird in support who exchanged a couple of passes with Funston to beat three players before Baird touched down for an excellent try to which Peoples added the extras for a 14-0 lead.
DLSP kicked off and Baird fielded beautifully, quickly offloaded to Logue 30m from his own posts. In the sort of form he was, Logue switched on the speed to leave three men in his wake as he ran the length of the field to touch down between the posts with Peoples converting for 21-0.
Derry were dominating the set pieces with Steven Jefferson and David Ferguson having their best games in the front row since joining in the summer from Coleraine. They were well supported by the experienced Sam Duffy at tight-head prop and with Brian Prue and Chris Cooper dominating the line outs, quality possession was assured. The back row of Stephen Corr Tom Patton and Richard Baird were bossing the exchanges in the loose and at the breakdown which allowed Caithness and Peoples to run the show. Peoples had an exceptional game keeping the opposition back row honest with big physical carries and passing and kicking of the highest order.
D.L.S.P. finally got themselves on the scoreboard with a penalty from scrum half Ian Burke after 20 minutes but added to it two minutes later when Derry dropped a pass in midfield and when out-half Adam Philpott picked up to run to the line and touch down for a try. When Burke converted Derry’s lead was down to 21-10.
Derry secured the bonus point after only 25 minutes and what a team try it was. Baird made the hard yards from his own half, supported by Patton, Corr and Jefferson. He then found Funston who kicked ahead and for Cooper to gather before linking with David Ferguson who in turn fed Caithness. Caithness returned the ball to Cooper who had continued his run allowing him to drive to the line and touch down. Peoples converted for a fully deserved 28-10 lead at the break.
Derry enjoyed the majority of possession for opening 15 minutes of the second period. When Sam Duffy and Tom Patton manufactured a chance for Stephen Corr to make a great break for the line on 57 minutes, Corr was stopped just short but DLSP killed the ball at the breakdown leaving the referee little choice but to ‘sin bin’ their wing-forward. Derry took the resulting scrum afrom which Caithness found Chris Barber who powered in for a try by the posts which Peoples converted and at 35-10 it was ‘game over’.
Nicholl went to his bench to introduce Paul McFeely and Cathal Cregan to the front row and William McCleery and Adam Parke to the backline. DLSP, to their credit, worked their way back into the game, retaining possession for long periods but the Derry defence was held up well until the 71st minute when Conor Power Jnr got in for a try.
Robbie Logue made his First XV debut for Derry from the bench after 78 minutes to make it a unique occasion for his family, as he took his position alongside brother, Simon, who was a revealation in the full-back position
DLSP refuse to lie down and further sustained pressure on the Derry line allowed their No. 8 Karl Millar to get in for an unconverted try on 80 minutes but the scoring wasn’t finished just yet. Derry won possession from the kick-off, ran the clock down and were rewarded for possession when Peoples kicked a penalty seven minutes into injury time to cap a good victory for the Judges Road men.
City of Derry; Steven Jefferson, David Ferguson, Sam Duffy, Chris Cooper, Brian Prue, Stephen Corr, Tom Patton, Richard Baird, Jack Caithness, Richard Peoples, David Graham, David Funston, Chris Barber, Ryan Campbell, Simon Logue. Replacements; Cathal Cregan, Paul McFeely, Adam Parke, William McCleery, Robert Logue.
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Weather for Derry
Saturday 25 May 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 14 C
Wind Speed: 15 mph
Wind direction: South west
Temperature: 9 C to 15 C
Wind Speed: 15 mph
Wind direction: South west