Enniskillen RFC Notes: Skins I XV 26 v Banbridge RFC II XV 21: Fierce Quarter Final See’s Skins Into the Semi

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Last Saturday Enniskillen travelled to face Banbridge 2nds in a potentially difficult Towns Cup quarter final and they made a slow start, committing a high number of basic errors in the first quarter.

Such errors and the concession of a number of penalties allowed Banbridge to enjoy the better of the territory in the opening half and following a scrum on ‘Skins “22” a conventional backline move aided by some poor tackling allowed the big Banbridge centre to score near the posts and with the added conversion, a sevn point start.

Poor work at the restart then allowed the home team to gain possession and again establish a foothold deep in ‘Skins territory, where they scored from a penalty try to double their advantage.

It soon got worse for ‘Skins with the award of a second penalty try ten minutes from half-time and at 21 – 0 down the prospects did not seem bright for the visitors.

‘Skins had to dig deep and this they did. The play started to improve and they worked their way up the field with a series of drives. Banbridge conceded a penalty under pressure and ‘Skins went for the corner. After a further scrum and a no 8 pick-up from the base, skipper Alan Wilkinson was on hand to collect the pass and score near the posts.

This proved to be a crucial score just before the break as the second half provided a complete turnaround with ‘Skins going on to dominate both possession and territory. After some early pressure, the result of some great work from the forwards, it was the ‘Skins backs who stole the show with a fine display of running and support work. A break by halftime substitute Mattie Maguire led to the club’s top try scorer, Andrew Dixon, added an unconverted try and the arrears were reduced to 21 – 12.

Shortly after Dixon added his second Wilkinson scored a second try, which was converted by Chris McVitty, to leave the score at 21 – 19 and set up a thrilling finale.

Roared on by a boisterous visiting support ‘Skins laid siege to the hosts line but somehow they managed to hold out. But ‘Skins determination was to reap dividends and finally in the dying minutes the breakthrough came. The Banbridge outhalf had his kick charged down and Ricky Connor was first to react to score the winning try, McVitty again converting, and put the ‘Skins into the Semi-Final on St Patricks Day.

This was a fine comeback win for ‘Skins, who produced some excellent attacking rugby when it mattered.

The big matches continue, starting with an enticing clash as ‘Skins entertain high-flying Omagh on Friday evening at Mullaghmeen, kick-off 7:30 pm. ‘Skins must make a better start to the game if they are to give themselves any chance against a side with promotion ambitions.


Friday 2nd Mar

1st XV – Home – Omagh – Kick-off 7:30

The sponsors pre-match meal will continue as normal. Anyone interested in attending must contact Reggie Ferguson or Andy Smallwoods otherwise a space cannot be guaranteed.

Saturday 3rd Mar

3rd XV – Away – Ballynahinch

Youth – Away – Lurgan

Sunday 4th Mar

Ladies – Away – Shannon

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