City of Derry continued their winning start to their All League Division 2B campaign when they recorded a four-try bonus point 35-17 win against their old adversaries Armagh, at Judges Road, on Saturday.
That was the Judges Road’s men’s fourth victory on the bounce as they retain their position as league leaders on 19 points, five ahead of Highfield in second place.
Derry were in a good place at half-time as they led 37-3 with three tries from Neil Burns, Adam Bratton and John Burns.
Armagh dominated possession in the second half but Derry held firm and sealed a terrific performance with that elusive fourth try with the last play of the game from Ian Bratton as the Burns and Bratton families celebrated with their Judges Road family.
Derry’s early pressure yielded two penalties from Neil Burns on 8 and 15 minutes as Armagh were put to the pin of their collars to hold out as Derry led 6-0.
Ross Harkin and David Ferguson looked lively carrying ball forward on 20 minute and quick ruck ball saw Semple finding Neil Brown who made a terrific break beating a couple of players and he passed to Neil Burns 20 meters out to run in for a try which he converted and Derry were deservedly 13-06 in front.
Adam Bratton strolled in for a try by the post and Neil Burns converted, giving Derry a 20-0 lead.
Armagh’s Johnny Pollock kicked a long range penalty for Armagh to give them their first points of the day.
Minutes later John Burns touched down for a try which brother Neil converted for a 27-3 lead.
Early in the second half the Orchard County men drove for the Derry line and a wave of attacking play on the line saw James Morton touch down for a try and Jonny Pollock converted and the score was 27-10.
Further Armagh pressure saw David Graham sent to the sin bin with the second half only six minutes old.
Then a nasty incident on ten minutes saw the Armagh captain and No 8 Neil Faloon sent to bin for an elbow into Andrew Semple’s face at scrum time.
Derry got into the Armagh half on thirteen minutes and eked out a penalty which Neil Burns converted from 25 metres to put his team three scores ahead at 30-10.
Armagh struggled to cross the Derry line and it took a penalty try from the referee for a scrum offence that allowed the visitors to put seven points on the scoreboard and Derry’s lead was 30-17 with just over ten minutes to go.
The time was almost up as Richard McCarter made a sublime break and found his Captain David Ferguson who released Ian Bratton who had come on from the bench.
Bratton did very well to beat two men a score an unconverted try in the corner with the last play of the game and Derry had secured that bonus point victory.