Letterkenny 2nd XV back in action
By Letterkenny Rugby
A great night of rugby in Judges Rd as Letterkenny 2nd XV take on neighbour City of Derry 4th XV
City of Derry RFC 4th XV 46 – Letterkenny RFC 2nd XV 33
On a blustery but pleasant autumn evening Letterkenny 2nd XV made a significant re-emergence one year after last being able to field a team. The team was packed with youthful exuberance, but also a grizzly old timer in the shape of Michael McGarvey. The Derry 4ths had a panel of 30 players and some experience and youth on show as well. The game started brightly with some enthusiastic attacking from the Derry side, but some equally enthusiastic tackling from the Letterkenny boys. With the wind in their favour and some pace on the wings the Derry boys scored a couple of tries while the ‘kenny lads got up to speed. Letterkenny then scored a fine try through the physically impressive Cillian McConigley who ran an excellent line to break the Derry cover. Despite the Derry team attacking through both forwards and backs, the excellent tackling of both forwards and backs stemmed the flow for Letterkenny. In particular, the big hits coming in from Paul ‘the munch’ Madigan, Barry Green and fellow front row David Ward made a huge difference.
At half time the tally was two tries to one with everything to play for.
The second half was a high scoring affair with a superb Letterkenny try coming from a surging run from Stephen Gibson at no8 tearing the Derry defence apart to go in next to the posts. The Derry boys then upped the ante and made a few substitutions and used their skills, pace and strength to score a couple of good tries. In particular a very mobile old prop ran very fast for a man of his age and seemed quite strong too. The Letterkenny lads did not really want to endanger him so pulled him down slowly to protect his knees and back. Our own grizzly Michael McGarvey gently helped him to his feet and the pair embraced to the joy of the watching spectators. This is what rugby is all about.
Meanwhile the young lads kept playing and Seanie Henry and Cian Curran showed great pace to add to the scoreline with great score by Cian. The teams seemed to be taking it in turns to score entertaining tries as David Ward scored a typical forwards driving try after much hard work be the pack, followed shortly by Michael Foy using pace and agility to get through in the centre. The Derry boys reinvigorated by the introduction of yet more subs scored again as the match swung one way and then the other. The final try was a fantastic team effort by the Letterkenny boys, starting with a well won scrum on the left and then moving the ball right down the line with great passing to Lewi Carson who scorched over on the right wing to end a great evening’s rugby. Congrats to Brendan O’Donnell who made his debut for the club and put in a good shift.
Well done to all the players and subs who turned out to represent Letterkenny RFC and to City of Derry RFC for excellent hospitality and a game in exactly the right spirit. We will look forward to the return fixture in the next few weeks in Letterkenny. We may have lost on points, but rugby was the winner and this was an excellent start in getting 2nd XV rugby back regularly in our club.