City of Derry suffer narrow loss

City of Derry 19-20 Middleton

David Graham's second half try wasn't enough as City of Derry lost to Middleton.
David Graham's second half try wasn't enough as City of Derry lost to Middleton.

City of Derry coach Richard McCarter was fuming after his side's single point defeat to Middleton, at Judges Road, this afternoon.

The Judges Road men got off to the worst possible start when they conceded two tries in the opening 12 minutes and a third try after just 45 seconds into the second half and it was the overall poor decision making by his side, which annoyed McCarter the most.

"We got off to the worst possible start," insisted McCarter. "Again we got out of the traps really slowly, but showed great character to get back into it and we got to half-time, but again we conceded within 30 seconds of the restart, which is just typical for us, but again we got back into the game after having to work really hard for our score and I thought that was going to be the turning point.

"I'm gutted to be honest, but I felt our game management was terrible at the end. That game was their for a bonus point win and I thought it was going to go that way after we scored that great try down the left wing, but we were absolutely awful after that.

"Defensively we were just lethargic and poor tackling and as I said our game management was really poor. Our kicking to gain territory wasn't where it needs to be and we got what we deserved in the game.

"Our start was shocking and last week was probably the exception to the rule as we started really well (against Skerries) and we had loads of energy, but this week I just don't know. We talked about complacency in the changing room before the game, but we just didn't get out of the blocks at all and it has cost us ultimately in the end, that really poor five minute period."

In the closing stages Alex McDonnell fired wide with would have been a game winning penalty, but McCarter felt his side's overall performance didn't deserve the win.

"We obviously had a kick to win the game, which any other day of the week Alex knocks it over in his sleep, but it can happen, but to be honest even in victory it would have still been a poor performance," he added.

"Look if you don't play well and still win these types of games you obviously would take it and it would have been a valuable four points, but it just summed up our day, as he missed it by a mile to be honest."