After last weeks encouraging results it was a long road trip to Coleraine RFC for Enniskillen’s youth teams, but fifty lads headed away only with thoughts of emulating the success of the senior teams (1st and 2nd XVs feature in cup semi-finals this weekend and best of luck to them from all within the Youth section) and securing a place in the equivalent youth competitions.
The under-13s have enjoyed a mixed season, but having really come together recently, the club decided to enter two teams this season and it is very encouraging to have 35 players enjoying regular games at this age grade and bodes well for further development of youth rugby in Fermanagh.
In what only can be describe as Arctic conditions the young ‘Skins kicked off against their Co Londonderry opponents and in what turned out to be a very close encounter held their own for the first ten minutes. However their cause wasn’t helped when after a clash one player had to go off for attention but unfortunately for the team by the time he returned Coleraine had used the extra man to secure the first try to go into a five-point lead.
Showing grit beyond their years, the young ‘Skins got stuck in and Reece Barrett levelled the scores to earn the boys an excellent 5-all draw.
The under-15s had a much harder task, coming up against a team who because of the age grading system were nearly all a year older, however they stuck to their task and after holding Coleraine to two scores in the first half were confident of being more competitive in the second. It was not to be however and despite a consolation try from Tyler Millar Coleraine ran out the winners.
This result, although disappointing, does not reflect the hard work put in, but bearing in mind the age difference, this team will continue to improve as they gain more experience.
The under-17s were confident after gaining the home win last week and on a day when free-flowing rugby didn’t seem possible, they put a marker down after James Burns used his strength to rip the ball away from the opposition out-half and John Joe McGovern released the backs. The move ended with team captain, Connor Hoy, passing to speedy winger Jack Breen to score.
Five minutes later, after soaking up some pressure in their own “22”, young Breen spotted a gap down the left wing, chipped over the defensive line and won the forty meter dash to score in the corner. Both tries were converted by McGovern, but having then conceded an unconverted score it was ‘Skins leading 14 – 5 at the break.
The second half became an attritional battle among the forwards and “Man Of The Match” Tomas McGurran got the pack moving forward with the two Joshs, Adams and McGurran, repeatedly making good ground. The conditions turned very cold and wet leading to several unforced errors from both sides but with ten minutes to go fullback Conor Gilleece ran from his own half and floated a cracking pass to that man Breen again looking for his third score. It was not to be a hat trick from the winger as was forced from the field following a collision. From the resulting five- yard scrum Josh Adams picked up and charged over for the last try of the game.
The results on the day mean that both the under-13s and 15s go into Saturdays game, away to Lurgan RFC, hoping to secure a Quarter-final berth in the shield competition, whilst the under-17s have gained a place in the last eight of the cup, as Lurgan do not field a team at this age. As a prelude to that cup quarter-final and to hopefully maintain the recent good form it is planned that they will host Cavan RFC this Friday night, KO 7:30, so please come out to the club to see some of the future talent on show.