Enniskillen – 5 Omagh – 10
A bumper crowd at Mullaghmeen saw Enniskillen narrowly lose to near neighbours Omagh in a hard fought, bruising encounter last Friday night.
There was very little between the sides and the game was at a stalemate for twenty-five minutes, with little scoring opportunities, before Omagh capitalised on a ‘Skins infringement to slot over an easy penalty for a three point lead, which they retained until halftime, although ‘Skins fullback Chris McVitty did miss a penalty with the last play of the half.
The second half was played in similar vein, with both sides cancelling each other out with effective defences on top until fifteen minutes had passed. A simple backline move with swift hands saw space created out wide and the try was scored in the left wing. The conversion was successful and Accies had a ten point advantage.
Omagh were reduced to fourteen following an injury and ‘Skins attacked with vim and vigour and eventually with twenty-eight minutes of the half played, Ally Duncan finished off a fine attack with a try. The conversion was missed but ‘Skins had halved the deficit.
Omagh were struggling with injuries and played the last ten minutes or so with only twelve men, but try as they might ‘Skins could not get the score that would had tied the game, or indeed won it, as Omagh defended like their very lives depended on it.
Ballynahinch 7’s – 17 Power NI Enniskillen 3rds – 36
Enniskillen made the long trek to Co. Down on Saturday looking to complete a double over The ‘Hinch Evergreens. Despite a lot of players being unavailable due to cattle calving and first cut preparations, a much changed ‘Skins team took to the field feeling confident of a win.
In a very open first quarter, it was the Fermanagh men who struck first, when Michael Law carried the ball deep into ‘Hinch teritory. As usual aqn energetic Ross Duncan was again on hand to go over the line with Keith Hurst adding the extra points for a seven point start.
Shortly after ‘Skins were unlucky not to add a second after some direct running from centres Paul Burns and “Stormin” Norman Richmond created an overlap putting Steven Murphy in, but he was unlucky to have been adjudged to have put his boot into touch whilst over the line.
Not to be thwarted, ‘Skins kept going and after Law took a quick line out to Captain Adam Breen he carried the ball close to the ‘Hinch line, where when the ball was recycled, Chris Fox squeezed over in the corner assisted by David “The Defender” Irvine. Hurst dissected the sticks with a superb touchhole conversion and then shortly after added another penalty.
Enniskillen took their foot of the gas and allowed two soft tries in before the half time interval, so some stern words during the break from Coach Alex Cromie let the troops know the game was not yet won.
In the second half the Enniskillen pack were in complete control, with Andrew Murphy, Ricky Lee, Kyle Graydon and Man of the Match Michael Cadden in particular catching the eye. This dominance showed when Dave Tyson crashed the ball into the hosts “22” where after several phases Hurst went over the line and converted his own effort.
Following another scrum deep in the opposition “22” Richmond crashed over under the posts with Hurst again converting, before a momentary lapse in concentration saw the home captain go over in the corner for an unconverted try.
This score only served to force ‘Skins into a higher gear, and not long after, it was Zac “Jack” Charlton who went over in the corner, but this time Hurst narrowly missed the extras.
Then came the moment of the match, and perhaps the season. Duncan was coming back into play after another of his breaks, but seeing a four on two overlap cleverly, and cynically, took down the first reciever when a good fifteen yards offside, a quite surreal moment. Duncan rightly received a yellow card for his effort.
A very good team performance from all fifteen men, most of whom only found out the bad news that the team had been controversially disqualified from The Butler Shield at semi final stage despite beating Rainey for the second time this season in the previous round, on a harsh player eligibility issue.
1st XV – Away – Letterkenny
2nd XV – Home – Ballymena III
Youth – Home – Cavan
Mini – P3, 4 and 5 – Cavan with P6, 7 and Year 8 – Home