City of Derry and Cavan served up a typically bruising encounter at the Craig Thompson Stadium on Sunday afternoon in the Ulster Women’s League.

Both these sides will probably be scrapping it out at the end of the season but in this instance it was first blood to Derry who came away with a 22 – 19 win.

Cavan started brightly and captain Brigid Reynolds crossed after five minutes for a try converted by Del Boy Hughes. Five minutes later the visitors doubled their advantage when winger Lisa Smith ran in their second score, Hughes again converting.

Derry finally woke up and impressive hooker Sarah McKettrick sprinted home to score a try, converted by Rachael Lennox. The experienced Irish International Stacey Lea Kennedy powered over for Derry’s second, shortly after, to pull the score back to 12 – 14 in the visitors favour.

Kennedy again caught the eye moments later, this time for the wrong reasons, a high tackle on Hughes, in the act of scoring, earning the Derry player a 10 minute rest. Hughes’ try went unconverted and the teams turned round with Cavan defending a 12 – 19 lead.

With Cavan down a player due to injury and Derry able to field a succession of rolling substitutes the two teams battled themselves to a standstill in the second half.

However two moments of magic from Derry’s Ciara Moore brightened up the second period, the out half bagging a second half brace and with them the game and a winning bonus point.

Cavan will be disappointed that they left the North West with only a losing bonus in this close encounter.

Final score: City of Derry 22 Cavan 19

Pictures from Graham Service.