Lewis inspires Derry to victory
City of Derry 55
THE prerequisites required for City of Derry to keep alive their dream of regaining senior status before they played Richmond in their final round robin fixture on Saturday, at Judges Road, were to win the game, score at least four tries and score as many points as possible while conceding very few.
The expectation was massive and the anticipation before the game left the large attendance nervous, whatever about the players and coaching staff.
Richmond were stunned with the initial pace of the game and on three minutes Stephen Simms won possession. Richmond infringed and gave away a penalty, Andrew Semple took a quick tap and made a searing break and found Richard McCarter to run in for the first try which he converted himself.
The home crowd were stunned on six minutes when their captain and spiritual leader Bob McKillop was red carded by Australian referee Kevin Beggs for clearing the Richmond hooker Pat Humphries out of a ruck and unfortunately in the process fell on top of him knee first. This could have been a severe blow for Derry and could have interrupted their dynamic start. The fears of crowd were dispelled three minutes later when Jason Mitchell made the break into the Richmond 22 and offloaded to David Houston in support who found McCarter for a converted try by the posts.
Richard McCarter was having his best game for some time and on 14 minutes he fed left wing Simon Logue who made a good break and with vision exchanged passes with Karl Gemmell in support to score an unconverted try to give Derry a 19 points lead.
The fourth try came on 19 minutes to secure the bonus point, McCarter made the break and was stopped 20 metres out. Simon Logue collected from the resulting ruck and ran in for a converted try.
Derry finished the half with two further tries the first was the try of the game when Jared Bennett cut a beautiful line through the Richmond defence and found Simms who in turn had Houston at his side when stopped to score an converted try by the posts.
The final move of the half was a penalty to Derry 20 metres out Semple took a quick tap once more and Stephen Corr powered his way over for an unconverted try to leave Derry leading by 38-0 at the break.
On 60 minutes Derry scored again when Peter Henderson broke from his own 22 when he was stopped the play was moved right and Josh Lewis broke several tackles to score a converted try. Richmond had a consolation score on thirty five minutes when their full back James McDermott dropped a goal for their only score of the game.
Derry finished the game in style with two tries, first McCarter made a break on 39 minutes and found Sam McAuley who darted in at pace from 15 metres out for an unconverted try. Rudi Moore finished off the scoring for Derry on 40 minutes when he fended off four players to score an unconverted try to give Derry a convincing victory by 55-3.
Bevan Lynch’s men now travel to Portadown on Saturday for a play-off with the winners playing in the All Ireland League next season.
City of Derry: Sam McAuley, Jason Mitchell, Sam Duffy, David Houston, Bob McKillop, Karl Gemmell, Stephen Simms, Stephen Corr, Andrew Semple, Richard McCarter, Simon Logue, Jared Bennett, Ryan Campbell, Josh Lewis, Peter Henderson. Replacements (all used) Stephen Duffy, Philip Brady, Rudi Moore, Mark O’Connor, Stephen Ferguson.
Richmond: David Young, Pat Humphreys, Paul Wallace, Barry Woods, Michael Gallagher, Thomas Ahern, Jason Organ Gearoid Phelan, Jeffrey McNamara, Wayne Murphy, Mike O’Friel, Jodu O’Sullivan, Mike Kelliher, Finbar Hogan, James McDermott.
Referee: Kevin Beggs.