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Match Reports

Skerries vs City of Derry (Ulster Bank All Ireland League Div 2A)

26 January 2015

Skerries 19 
City of Derry 17

UBL Div 2A – Saturday 24th January

Skerries beat City of Derry last Saturday in a hard fought – and in the end a little fraught – Ulster Bank League Div 2A clash at Holmpatrick. The win kept Skerries in 4th place in what is now a congested battle for the second automatic promotion spot.

This Friday’s match at home against third place Barnhall is now a big match for which Skerries will be looking to a big crowd to get behind them. With Old Wesley ten points clear at the top and looking certain for the title, there are now six teams within six points of second place.

Against Derry, Skerries had the closest to a full squad that they’ve had for some time. After the recent run to the final of the Div 2A/2B Cup, it was also a chance to keep up a 100 per cent run in 2015. But Derry’s place in the lower part of the division is deceptive. A dangerous team, with some very strong individuals, they have had a habit this season of pushing teams close.

The visitors started Saturday’s match on the front foot, using precision kicking to pin Skerries back. But Skerries scored the first try. An excellent turnover by flanker Evan Sherlock was followed by a smart boot downfield from scrum half Eoghan Carron. From a five-metre scrum, captain – and Fingal Independent Sports Star of the Year nominee – Ross McAuley touched down.

Despite early line-out steals and good clearance kicking, Skerries conceded the next try when a missed tackle in the middle of the field set off an excellent passage of passing play by Derry that saw them cross the line.

Skerries, though, scored a vital try before half time from efficient and impressive play. From the line-out, they went through a couple phases, running hard straight lines and recycling quickly, until a long pass to full-back Kevin McGrath broke the Derry defence. Conal Keane slotted the conversion and Skerries had a lead at half-time.

The second half saw further pressure from the visitors, and they might have scored a try if they hadn’t knocked on with the line begging. Skerries took full advantage. From a scrum on the right of the Derry 22′, with a playbook move going through the hands until winger Eddie O’Mahony sent a long pass to the other winger Derek Keane and he used his strength to brush aside the defence and touch down.

But the bonus point try was not to come. Instead, Derry pushed Skerries all the way. They scored one try off a broken play and strong support running, and followed it with a late score helped by loose Skerries tackling. While the last few minutes were anxious ones for the home side, they defended strongly until eventually pinching the ball and grabbing another vital win. The result means another huge match under lights this Friday at 8pm.


1. David Reilly
2. Chris Tonge
3. Wayne Aquila
4. AJ Sherlock
5. Joe Glennon
6. Tomas O’Hare
7. Evan Sherlock
8. Ross McAuley
9. Eoghan carron
10. Conal Keane
11. Derek Keane
12. Mikey Sherlock
13. Marc Hewitt
14. Eddie O’Mahony
15. Kevin McGrath

16. Mark Nally
17. Mark Boylan
18. Eoin Matthews
19. Robbie Jenkinson
20. Colin Doyle