Five try City of Derry secure fifth by defeating CIYMS
CIYMS 22, City of Derry 31
City of Derry rounded off their Kukri Ulster Qualifying League Division One campaign with four tries in the final half hour to tie up fifth place and a potential place in next season's All Ireland Junior Cup.
Derry's five try victory in Belfast rounds off an impressive second half to the season for Richard McCarter's men who now need league champions, Clogher Valley, to secure All Ireland League promotion via the provincial round robin series to ensure Derry are one of Ulster's four representatives for the Junior Cup.
Two tries Killene Thornton and one apiece from David Graham, Stephen Corr and Simon Logue saw Derry over the line in a game that summed up both sides of Derry's season.
Yeah, it was a great result but also typical us at times," explained Derry's Head Coach, "We were pretty poor for the majority the first half and then conceded immediately after half-time so we were 17-5 down with half an hour left and CIYMS only needed one more try for their bonus point.
"However, over the last half hour you could just see us growing in confidence, making breaks and going forward. It resulted in us scoring four very god tries and we won quite convincingly.
"We didn't start well. We missed a big chance before half-time to make it 12-12 and then they scored that early second half try but I knew if we could go through phases that we would score. Once we settled, we did and they scored with the final play to make it look a bit closer than it was in the end."
Derry positive second half of the season highlights their potential with McCarter admitting he now looks at the opening weeks of the campaign with quite a bit of frustration.
"We've had eight defeats over the league season but that includes two against Clogher, two to Ballyclare and two to Dromore who are one, two and four respectively in the table," he added, "We lost away to third placed Cooke but the one that annoys me was home to Carrick when we were very poor but since that game we have played 10 and won seven so it's been a pretty good second half to the season.
"I remember going into the changing rooms after that Carrick game and there were a few harsh words. At that stage it was either going to go one way or the other and thankfully the boys did respond. From that day the attitude has been great and it just shows you how dangerous we can be when our heads are in the right pace.
"Confidence and momentum play a massive role but when we look back at that first half of the season, had we been a bit more consistent we would have been top four no problem, though I still think Clogher have a great chance of being promoted to the AIL."
Derry will finish their season with the League Cup which pits McCarter's men against Carrick, Ballynahinch Seconds and Ballymena Seconds.
"We are looking forward to the cup but it's a bit of an unknown because we have never played against any of these second teams. We obviously know Carrick but Ballynahinch and Ballymena we are not too sure about," he added.