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Derry earn chance to rejoin the big boys

City of Derry have clinched the Qualifying One title and booked their place as Ulster’s representative in the All Ireland round robin tournament.

And that will give the Judges Road club another chance to regain their senior status after their victory over Armagh at Shaw’s Bridge in a play-off last night.

Bevan Lynch’s side failed to win promotion back to Division Three last season when they were eliminated in the round robin after finishing third, but this time around two of their three games will be played at home.

They kick off their bid to regain senior status with a home game against Leinster champions Seapoint at Judges Road on Saturday before travelling to Connacht champions Monivea a fortnight later, the side they knocked out of the All Ireland Junior Cup at the semi-final stage.

Derry conclude their campaign at home to Munster side Richmond on April 17.

The stakes were high at Shaw’s Bridge in a winner-takes-all contest but a strong first half showing from Derry which included two tries propelled them to victory.

Winger Josh Lewis opening the scoring for Derry with an early try which out half Richard McCarter converted.

Armagh out half Adam Gowing missed an opportunity to reduce the deficit as he was off target with a penalty and should have done better.

Both sides had a man sinbinned but it was Derry who finished the first half stronger and were rewarded with a second try.

From a quick tap penalty right winger Simon Logue went over with McCarter converting to give Derry a 14-0 half time lead.

Derry missed a great chance to put the game to bed as they spurned a try scoring opportunity just after the restart.

McCarter did extend the lead as he knocked over a 65th minute penalty.

Armagh got back in the game with a try from centre Johnny Allen with Gowing converted but Derry closed the game out and were good value for their victory.

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