McCarter hoping City of Derry can turn performances into points against Bruff

AIL Division 2C: Bruff v City of Derry (Saturday, 2.30pm)
City of Derry will welcome back Callum O'Hagan for the trip to Limerick to take on Bruff. (Photo: George Sweeney)City of Derry will welcome back Callum O'Hagan for the trip to Limerick to take on Bruff. (Photo: George Sweeney)
City of Derry will welcome back Callum O'Hagan for the trip to Limerick to take on Bruff. (Photo: George Sweeney)

Richard McCarter wants his City of Derry side to start turning impressive performances into consistent victories, starting with this weekend’s trip to Limerick to face Bruff.

McCarter’s men have picked up five points from their last two AIL games, a victory at Sunday’s Well and a losing bonus point from last week’s controversial home defeat to Bangor. Those results have left Derry seventh but with only six points separating fourth place from bottom spot, the margins in Division 2C remain wafer thin.

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“Frustration aside, last week was a really positive performance and I was delighted,” explained McCarter, “There were obviously things we could have done a bit better but I really want us to go to Bruff with confidence now because we have been playing well the last few games.

“It is now about turning those good performances into victories consistently because we definitely can mix it with anyone in the league.

“Bangor have to be considered one of the top teams currently because they are four from four but had we won with a bonus point last Saturday I don’t think many people would have argued because we created so much in attack. We just lacked that clinical edge when it really mattered.”

A controversial yellow card for Sam Duffy and a penalty try inside the final 10 minutes turned the tide in Bangor’s favour last week but McCarter says his players can take plenty of positives from the game.

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“It’s like that in every single game,” added the Derry Head Coach, “When you’re on top you have to make your dominance count and that was where we perhaps let ourselves down a bit on Saturday. That was the only aspect that we did let ourselves down with because everything else was pretty good.

“When you come up against a team like Bangor who have been consistent this season, are full of confidence, and compare that to us, we are finding our feet again so can take a lot of encouragement from the game. I just hope we can kick on this weekend and try to get a win in Limerick.”

On the team front Derry will welcome back Paddy Blennerhassett and Calum O’Hagan who missed the Bangor game but both Simon Logue and Stephen Corr are unavailable to face a Bruff team which is yet to register an AIL win this season.

“There is not a lot between any of the teams from fourth down and I think that’s the way it’s going to be unless someone goes on a mad winning streak. There will be those top two or three but everyone else is going to be fighting for top half or to avoid relegation.

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“If we win on Saturday, it puts us in a nice position in the top half but if we don’t, then it drags us down into the fight again. However, one hundred per cent, I believe we are good enough to be a top half team. That’s why we have to go to places like Bruff and show it.

“Bruff’s confidence will not be sky high so we have to go down and assert our dominance, get a foothold early and put them away if we get the opportunity to.

“They will be looking at this weekend as an opportunity to kick-start their season because they will see our position and think they can leapfrog us. We have to use that to our advantage and be very simple in the first 20 minutes, quiet them down and almost drain the positivity from them.

“We have the potential to be able to do that, it’s just if we have the confidence to do it. Training has gone well the last couple of weeks, numbers have been excellent, and we have been playing loads and loads of game related stuff in training so hopefully we can kick on.

“I would just love us to go out and fulfil our true potential this week.”