CITY OF DERRY 36, BECTIVE RANGERS 0
CITY of Derry’s comprehensive victory over Bective Rangers on Saturday has elevated the local club into 11th spot in the AIL Division 2A table as the local club challenges to finish in the top 10.
Six tries plus a deserved bonus point will have given coach, Terry McMaster, a significant boost as he attempts to consolidate the local club’s position in the All-Ireland League.
Now within striking distance of the three teams above them and with five fixtures remaining, Derry are in the perfect position to strike and finish the season in style.
In near Baltic, galeforce conditions, it was clear that the Dublin visitors were not appreciating the conditions after their journey northwards and the home lot took full advantage.
The Dubliners, having won the toss, elected to play against the elements but Derry did not disappoint as they displayed a great hunger and struck rigidly to a game-plan which clearly saw the visitors struggle.
The home side’s all-out attacking policy from the off reaped handsome dividends. Having won a penalty after two minutes, Andrew Semple kicked to touch 10 meters out. David Houston won the lineout and wing forward Adam Bratton drove on and with the rest of the pack in support Stephen Corr touched down for the opening try. Semple converted to put Derry into a 7-0 lead.
Bective were clearly struggling to get to grips with the game and having conceded a penalty inside their own half, Derry scored again.
Semple caught them sleeping as he tapped to himself and sprinted almost 50 meters to touch down for a try which he converted for a 14-0 lead.
The home side’s forwards pack were well on top as their scrum dominated with Ross Harkin, David Ferguson and Chris Shields in the front row winning that vital battle.
Bob McKillop was once again outstanding as his ball carrying and tackling inspired those around him while captain, Houston, dominated the line-outs.
In the 16th minute, Derry got in again. Following a kick ahead by winger, David Graham, Bective conceded a five metre scrum, but the side failed to cross the line.
Three further scrum restarts for Derry inside the Bective ‘22’ also came to nothing but the pressure was mounting and it was only a matter of time before the home team scored again.
Bective then lost their scrum-half to the ‘sin bin’ on 20 minutes and from the penalty Semple kicked to the corner for a five metres line out and while Stephen Corr was stopped just short of line, Derry continued to dominate the ball.
Another deserved try arrived in the 27th minute after Derry won another line-out through Houston. The home forwards produced a great drive to 20 metres out before Semple switched play, finding David Graham with a superb pass on the left wing and he touched down for an unconverted try, Derry now 19-0 ahead.
The fourth try and the bonus point was beckoning before half-time and that would take the pressure off while playing against the gale after the break.
However, there was never a worry as Corr and Bratton did the spade work and McKillop showed his power and commitment to turn over ball on 32 minutes near half way.
Stuart Simpson made the break and while Peter Henderson almost got in for a try, William McCleery quickly recycled the ball and Semple picked out the outstanding David Ferguson to touch down for a 24-0 lead at half-time.
Derry’s tackling and defensive display was the highlight of the second half as the home lot worked hard and managed to pin Bective into their own half when facing the elements.
The Dubliners began to kick the ball aimlessly and, as a result, began to get frustrated having made no impact as the game progressed.
Again Derry took full advantage when Ferguson raced clear to touch down another try which Semple converted.
Thirty-one points ahead, the game was well over as a contest, Bective appeared a well beaten team as Derry finished the game on top. Semple released Chris Shields who raced in for an unconverted try and round off a terrific team performance.
Derry’s next game is on Saturday week at home to Dungannon in the Ulster Senior League and then they will travel to Naas the following weekend.
City of Derry - Ross Harkin, David Ferguson, Chris Shields, Bob McKillop, David Houston, Adam Bratton, Stephen Corr, Stephen Ferguson, Andrew Semple, Richard Peoples, William McCleery, Stuart Simpson, Josh Lewis, David Graham, Peter Henderson. Replacements; Cathal Cregan, James Fawcett, Jonathan Lyons, Mark Walker, Jack Beattie.