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An overnight freeze meant many games across the Province were postponed. Not so in the northwest, with both Derry and Limavady pitches passing an early inspection. That said travelling up through freezing fog and ice proved a challenge to all concerned.

‘Vady were still smarting from a narrow defeat at Belmont earlier in the season and felt this was an opportunity to get their first win of the season. The home side started on the front foot, with their big forwards carrying well into contact. For the first 15 minutes play was almost exclusively in the CI half and any ball won by the visitors was given back too easily to their hosts. This led to the first score of the game, clever offloads and big carries led to Vady crashing over in the corner. Coversation missed.

15 mins.. Vady 5.. CI 0

CI needed to wake up and they did just that. The pack got to grips with their opponents. Several home lineouts were stolen by the visitors and we began to get a little territory. After a few half breaks CI took their first chance. A deft pass from Beverland gave Gilliland space and he made an excellent break through the middle. With support on either side he passed in to Fullerton who raced under the posts. A wonderful try. Lawton added the con.

20 mins Vady 5.. CI 7

CI had their tails up. Haldane fielded a high ball under pressure and he made a great break through the middle of the home defence. A quick recycle and slick handling saw Lawton glide over in the corner for another fantastic try. Con missed.

28 mins Vady 5.. CI 12

The tables continued to turn towards CI and the pace of the game gave the Vady pack a real problem for the rest of the match. So too did CI’s dominance in the lineout, winning many of the homesides ball. The scrum got better as the game progressed and first phase became a weapon for the visitors. Lawton saw space out wide and made a break. As cover came across he lobbed a beautiful chip  towards the Vady goal line. He won the race, picked up and crashed over for another great try. Con added.

35mins Vady 5.. CI 19
Halftime and the home team were rattled.

CI started the 2nd half as they finished the first. Possession led to territory. Twice we were held up mauling towards the line and chances we missed. The game was more open and the pace continued to be a problem for Vady.

After a series of half breaks Acheson burst through, and after a neat side step he feed Burns who crashed through a tackle in his usual way and raced over near the posts. Lawton added the con.

50 mins Vady 5.. CI 26

Vady seemed more than rattled. They conceded another penalty and CI kicked for the corner. Another solid lineout and maul was stopped just short of the line. Several carries fell just short until super sub Simpson crashed over for a well worked try. Lawton added the necessary.

55 mins Vady 5.. CI 33

Apart from and occasional half break, it was becoming one way traffic. In the 61st minute a Limavady player hurt his knee quite badly and play was stopped while he received attention. Vady approached the referee and he asked our skipper if we would agree to call it early. We agreed and the game finished.

A bonus point win in difficult conditions is always good but the way we played, after starting slowly, was heart warming on a freezing day. A few of those tries would be in the running for try of the season. The trip home through the fog was well worth it.

NB.. we spoke to their alicados in the bar and the knee injury wasn’t as serious as it first looked and we wish the young boy well.