Nicholl’s men look to bounce back

Mark Nicholl
Mark Nicholl

CITY of Derry are hoping to bounce back from their defeat to Ballymena in last week’s cup semi-final as they return to league action against Galwegians.

Manager Mark Nicholl is confident going into the game with a number of players expected to return from injury, but acknowledges that Galwegians are a “tough side.”

City of Derry will be at home against the Galway outfit, who played their rugby in the division 1B last season before being relegated.

In the Judges Road men’s last outing they lost by a scoreline of 19 points to 12 against Ballymena in the First Trust Senior Cup semi-final.

Mark Nicholl was happy with the performance of his players in that game, with City of Derry still in with a chance of winning the match until the end despite missing seven players through injury.

City of Derry went down to 14 men after twenty minutes when wing-half Chris Cooper was sent off, and with another player sin-binned, a Derry side already patched up because of injury was forced to play with 13 men.

Mark Nicholl said: “I am dissapointed with the result but considering the fact that we had seven players missing through injury, the performance overall was good.

“I am happy with the way the players who I sent out there acquitted themselves. It was difficult for us having had a player sent off after about 20 minutes and another player sin-binned, so with 13 men I think the players did fairly well.

“I am confident going in to the match against Galwegians. We are always confident going into games – we were confident going into the game with Ballymena and we thought we could win it.

“We could have won it, apart from a few refereeing decisions and things like that I think we could have won it.

“We have a few players who should be back for the match against Galwegians this week – we should have Peter Henderson and Simon Logue back. We should also have Richard McCarter back after he pulled up in the warm up.

“Galwegians are a good side. The have been relegated from the league above us. They will be a tough side to beat.”

The Galway outfit currently sit in sixth place in the All-Ireland League Division 2A, two places above City of Derry having played a game more.

The Judges Road men are level on points with Galwegians, however, and if they can win their game this weekend and other results go their way, City of Derry could climb three places to fifth in the league.

They are currently on 15 points, nine behind league leaders Banbridge.