McMaster hopes Derry will make most of second chance
It's been a week for licking wounds as City of Derry have had to come to terms with having been pipped at the post to the 2B title by Highfield on what was a dramatic end to the regulation season a fortnight ago.
Though the one-time clear leaders did, at least, arrest a five-game run of defeats by beating Barnhall 24-7 last time out, Derry's failure to claim a winning bonus point meant that they finished second on points differential and now have to enter a play-off with third-placed Sundays Well at Judges Road.
Should coach Terry McMaster's charges negotiate this hurdle then they will go on to meet the winner of the other play-off between Skerries and Greystones for that final place in next season's Division 2A.
So, there is still much work to be done for Derry who could hardly be blamed for feeling the pressure to deliver after they had looked like runaway winners of the division earlier in the season.
"We have only ourselves to blame at how it's gone for the business end of the season," said McMaster.
"Now it's the hard way but, at the same time, we're confident and we're up for it. We're clearly disappointed. We didn't kick on and get that bonus point against Barnhall, but the mood in the camp is still good."
Having already lost at home to Well, during their slump, has made Derry all the more determined to get the win this time around.
At the other end of the table, Rainey Old Boys' disappointing season sees them in play-off mode and they host Wanderers at Hatrick Park with the winner going on to meet either Tullamore or Bruff.