City of Derry: Nicholl’s men look to get early Christmas present

Stephen Ferguson charges through the Rainey defence during City of Derry's Ulster League clash, on Saturday. INMM5114-421
Stephen Ferguson charges through the Rainey defence during City of Derry's Ulster League clash, on Saturday. INMM5114-421
Share this article

The match of the day in All Ireland League Division 2A this weekend is at Judges Road where City of Derry face Blackrock.

The only time these two clubs played one another before was in season 1999-2000 in AIL Division 2 when the encounter brought the biggest AIL crowd ever to the Gransha venue.

The two clubs come to the fixture in good form and the anticipation is that a high scoring game will produce some sparkling rugby and with a massive Christmas crow expected the atmosphere should be one to savour.

When the team last played in Derry the Dubliners were captained by Leo Cullen who went on to be the only man to lift three Heineken Cups as captain of Leinster.

The other players of note in the Blackrock squad that season were Shay Byrne and one Brian O’Driscoll who was injured when they came to Judges Road but Byrne was on the bench that day. Blackrock won in a tight game 26-20.

City of Derry’s most successful season ever was that year when Coached by Gerald McCarter, Mark McFeely and Ricky Huey.

Derry then won the Ulster League and Cup Double, both titles being won for the first time ever by the Club.

This weekend the home side will be well up for this game and a win will catapult them right up the league table.

Blackrock are lying in second place in the league behind leaders Old Wesley and having won their last five AIL game will come to Derry in confident mood expectant of victory.

Home support from the biggest crowd of the season should spur David Funston’s men on to what could be a memorable victory and a great Christmas Present for everyone associate with CDRFC.