Cooke Rugby II XV 14 v Enniskillen Rugby II XV 20: Report & Pictures & Video Clips

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Cooke II – 14, Enniskillen II – 20

Enniskillen 2nds turbulent season took them to Shaw’s Bridge for a second time this season to face Cooke, a side which had defeated them previously. Preparation was not ideal with only one of the normal pack available and some players having problems with their sat-nav. Worse was to come when a player simply failed to show up and the seconds started, and finished, with fourteen men.

Undaunted, ‘Skins tore into their opponents and had much the better of the early exchanges. The front row of Jonny Foster, Ross Finlay and a supercharged Adi Breen totally dominated their heavier opponents and gave ‘Skins an early advantage, when ‘Skins took play deep into Cooke’s half, won the penalty and Allister kicked them into a lead. This did not last long however as Cooke came back and scored a converted try.

‘Skins bounced back and their forwards kept a continuous stream of ball from scrum and lineout coming to the backs. Playing with the wind ‘Skins kicked to the corners forcing Cooke back time and again, and whilst several kicks went just too far, one well-judged punt saw the chasers trap the Cooke defender close to his own line and when ‘Skins turned the ball over Gareth Donaldson scored far out. Skipper Daniel Allister converted with a fine kick and then added a further penalty to leave the halftime score 13 – 7 to the visitors.

Cooke came out in the second half in determined fashion and for a time ‘Skins defended desperately. From a set piece Cooke worked a good move to put their centre over at the posts, with the conversion giving the home-side a narrow 14 – 13 lead.

Questions were now being asked of the visitors but they responded excellently. ‘Skins started to carry the ball to Cooke through their impressive centre partnership of Nigel Johnston and Michael Law and forward runners Johnny Skuce, Foster and Richard Willis. The outstanding David Taylor carried and supported all over the field and it was no surprise when following a well worked move Law sidestepped the defence to score a try with Allister again adding the extras.

‘Skins then just survived a period of Cooke pressure but finished the match deep in the Cooke half with a Breen orchestrated Munster type series of “pick and goes” to see ‘Skins home.

The club should be proud of the display last Saturday. From veteran Gordon White to Under-19 James Fawcett all played with a commitment and purpose which is the essence of team sport. Cooke played their full part in an excellent game of rugby which was well-refereed by Mr Logan, who let the game flow.

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