Enniskillen RFC IXV – 12, Ballynahinch RFC II XV – 5

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Enniskillen – 12, Ballynahinch II – 5

Enniskillen continued the momentum gained on their travels a fortnight ago in Belfast by beating a well organised ‘Hinch second string, in a tight tussle.

‘Skins got off to a great start in a game played with a lot of pace, running the ball at the visitors and retaining possession with the forards linking well. Nigel Johnston starting at outhalf in place of the injured Clinton Brown, kept the moves going and it was he who stepped into a gap to scamper over for a try which he converted himself after seven minutes.

‘Hinch came right back into the game and threatened ‘Skins at times, but often when they looked to have created an opening the ‘Skins defence managed to firmly shut the door in their face. ‘Skins did continue to run the ball well and almost capitalised on a loose ball on seventeen minutes when Garteh Beatty pinned the ears back and went for the line, but despite an excellent offload and great support work from Gavin Parke ‘Hinch kept them out.

The big worry was the lack of quality possession being won at the lineout, and this was not helped when John Arnold was forced to leave the field after twenty minutes, leaving ‘Skins to battle on with only fourteen men. The scrums however where impressive and despite holding a territorial and possession advantage, ‘Hinch were kept off the scoreboard.

The second period continued much like the first had ended with ‘Hinch’s impressive outhalf probing the ‘Skins defence, mixing the pass and kick to nice effect, and keeping the ‘Skins defence working hard, but it was ‘Skins who added to their lead on the hour mark, as they started to get more into the game. A forward pass denied Michael Law a try after some nice build up play from deep, but from the ‘Hinch scrum Enniskillen managed to regain possession and Jamie Johnston went over for an unconverted try.

The pace of the game looked to be be taking its toll, but ‘Skins were helped when ‘Hinch also lost a man to even the numbers up. The game looked to be heading to a confortable conclusion, but the ‘Skins line was eventaully breached with three minutes remaining following a quick tap penalty in midfield. The conversion was pushed wide and ‘Skins were able to see out the remaining few minutes.

After the stop-start beginning to the league ‘Skins now face their first back to back matches with a trip to Coleraine this weekend to face the University of Ulster. The students have made a solid start to the season and ‘Skins will need to be at their best to get a result.

Team (1 – 15): Gavin Warrinton, Ryan Cathcart, Gareth Beatty, John Arnold, Hazlit Brian, John Courtney, David Buchanan, Jamie Johnston, Ricky Connor, Nigel Johnston, Trevor Whittaker, Alan Wilkinson (capt), Michael Law, Gavin Parke, Mark O’Shea


1st XV – Away – UUC
2nd XV – Home – Cooke II
3rd XV – Home – Holywood II
4th XV – Away – Newry III
Under-19 – Home – Clogher Valley
Youth – Away – Cavan

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