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Terry McMaster takes over the reins at City of Derry ahead of tough game

By Ronnie Ingram

Terry McMaster, the former Ireland B winger, begins his coaching duties at City of Derry with a difficult Ulster Senior League game against Belfast Harlequins at Deramore Park tomorrow afternoon.

McMaster, who coached Ulster under-21s and Derry years ago, replaces Mark Nicholl in a new playing structure at the club.

Neil Beddow will look after the backs with Jason Mitchell the forwards' coach. James Doherty will be the analyst and Marshall Kilgore, the TMO at many international games, the players' manager.

"We need a determined effort if we are to remain at the same level of Irish Rugby next season," said director of rugby Moss Dineen.

"Going by past records we feel we will need 24 points from our final seven AIL fixtures to stay in the equivalent of 1B so that is a big ask especially as we have only won two of our eight games and earned a total of six bonus points"

Currently Derry are in 13th place one point below Rainey but their immediate task is to win tomorrow. Both teams are still in the title chase with Quins undefeated and Derry losing to Armagh 24-10 in the first game of the competition in August.

Derry have fulfilled six fixtures including victories over Ballymena and Malone while the Belfast team's successes were against Queen's in early September, Dungannon and Ards.

Due to the adverse weather in the north west there was no training on Tuesday evening and, in consequence the side will not be finalised until this morning.

"We have a few injuries so I know we will be without prop Sam Duffy, winger Johnny Kennedy and Adam Bratton in the back row," said Dineen.

"We eliminated Quins from the First Trust Senior Cup 19-7 in October at Deramore and a win now would boost morale for the squad before the restart of the AIL."

The other games are: Dungannon v Ballynahinch, Malone v Armagh, Queen's v Ards and Rainey v Banbridge.

Belfast Telegraph

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