City of Derry Seconds progressed to the second round of the Towns Cup when they overcame a determined Randalstown team 33-28, at Judges Road, on Saturday.
Coach James Doherty said after the game “We were delighted with the win considering the lack of games recently. I was really impressed by Randalstown who contributed to an exciting game on a miserable day for supporters.
“We just had that extra bit of quality which we were able to produce when required, we are happy to be in the next round and in a position to get out players more game time.”
The result was in doubt to the final whistle as the scores came in a tit for tat fashion throughout the afternoon as the lead changed hands on a number of occasions.
The winning score came with less than five minutes remaining from City of Derry tight prop Sam Duffy when he touched down for a converted try but the most aggrieved man on the pitch was Randalstown’s David Millar as the big forward scored a hat trick of try’s for a Man of the Match performance.
Derry started with all out attack but were rocked back on seven minutes when the Randalstown forwards showed their unity of purpose as Davis Millar scored his first try from a driving maul which was converted by full back Peter McCann for a 7-0 lead.
The Judges Road men were right back on level terms on seventeen minutes when scrum half Jack Caithness made a fine break to release centre Paddy Blennerhassett who sprinted in from 30 metres to touch down for an excellent try which full back Peter Henderson converted.
Derry were in the lead for the first time on 20 minutes when Brian Prue won good lineout 25 metres out and Richard Baird made a strong break only to be stopped short of the line. Richard Peoples Derry’s out half was on had to pickup quick ruck ball and touch down for an unconverted try and Derry lead 12-7.
Randalstown were in front again on 32 minutes when Millar again touched down for a try, he picked up from a ruck 10 metres out following good work from his pack and with McCann converting Randalstown lead 14-12.
Derry got themselves back in the lead five minutes before the break when captain Ryan Campbell pounced on loose ball 30 metres out and fended off a couple of tacklers before touching down by the posts for a great individual try and with Henderson converting Derry lead 19-14 at half-time.
Randalstown were back in the lead within five minutes of the restart, David Miller got in again for his hat-trick of tries following good sustained pressure from his pack. This try crowned a great individual performance from the best forward on the pitch and with McCann converting Randalstown lead 21-19.
Richard Peoples put the home team back in the lead on fifteen minutes when he pounced on loose ball to touch down for a try following good forward play from Steven Jefferson, Cathal Creggan and Brian Prue. Peter Henderson converted and Derry were 26-21 in front.
The visitors came straight back at Derry but had a penalty miss, they were back in the lead on 68 minutes when scrum half Peter McWhirter combined with out half Rob Fleck to release centre William Montgomery who touched down for a try and with McCann converting the Co Antrim men were in front again leading 28-26.
The winning score and the best try of the game came from Derry on 76 minutes when they won a line out ball 30 metres out and Richard Baird made a great break showing power and pace before offloading to prop Sam Duffy in support. Duffy touched down for the match winning score and with Henderson converting Derry lead 33-28, which they carried to the final whistle.