Enniskillen Rugby I XV – 55 v Belfast High School FP I XV – 10

5 minutes, 20 seconds Read

Enniskillen romped to a fairly comfortable eight try victory over their visitors from the shores of Belfast Lough.

The scoring started as early as the first minute, catching many of the spectators out, when David Buchanan finished off a strong surge by the forwards in the corner.

High School however replied with a penalty after six minutes and when Michael Law scored ‘Skins’ second try after twelve minutes it was very much against the run of play, as he returned an interception 60-odd metres to score between the posts, making James McIntyre’s conversion straightforward.

85 Pictures slideshow here from Enniskillen v BHSFP thanks to Stephen Hetherington, Clogher Valley Photograpy. – CLICK HERE To View Slideshow. For high resolution e:stevehetherington@yahoo.co.uk

With the breeze at their backs ‘Skins increased their lead four minutes later when McIntyre added a penalty, before the third try came after twenty minutes. Like the first it was the forwards who exerted pressure on the visitors leading to a yellow card for the scrum half. Jamie Johnston took full advantage from the base of a scrum to cap a great opening quarter for ‘Skins as they built a 20 – 3 lead.

The fourth and bonus point earning try came right on the stroke of halftime and it was a solo effort from winger Mark O’Shea. As happened all day the forwards set a good platform presenting the backs with quality ball and O’Shea chipped over his opposite number and regathered the kick to score, bringing the ball closer to the posts to ease McIntyre’s conversion, giving ‘Skins a 27 – 3 halftime lead.

The second half started much as the first did, only this time it took ‘Skins two minutes to score. Skipper Alan Wilkinson stepped twice to beat the defence and finish under the posts with McIntyre adding the extras, something he was destined to do three more times in the second period.

‘Skins were rampant and added their sixth try seven minutes later. O’Shea kicked the ball into space behind the defensive line of the visitors and managed to recover possession. He fed Wilkinson who offloaded to Gavin Parke for the flanker to score and push the score to 41 – 3.

High School to their credit kept plugging away and were rewarded with what turned out to be merely a consolation try on the hour mark. This seemed to merely remind ‘Skins that they were in a game and they took little time to add to their tally. Again the forwards worked the ball well and when it came to the backs they had a four man overlap and fullback Clinton Brown unselfishly fed Wilkinson for the skipper’s second try.

The final score came two minutes later when Trevor Whittaker intercepted a pass to race clear of the High School backs and on wobbly legs make the line.

The game was won and with High School making little impression on the ‘Skins defence the referee took the sensible option and ended the game early.

A morale booster for ‘Skins who make the short journey to Omagh this week to renew rivalries, after a two year absence. The Tyrone men have made a solid start to the season so far and ‘Skins will need to be at their best to get a result to keep their promotion ambitions on track.

Team: (1 – 15) G Warrington, R Cathcart, G Beatty, D Taylor, R Grey, G Parke, D Buchanan, J Johnston, R Connor, J McIntyre, T Whittaker, A Wilkinson, M Law, M O’Shea, C Brown.

Enniskillen Under-17 – 31, Virginia Under-17 – 7

Enniskillen won at home to follow up on two away league victories and just like the previous week they stated all guns blazing against a side containing 5 or 6 Ulster Development Squad players.

The forwards took the ball up field and released the backs who spread the ball wide, the forwards supported well and from 2 or 3 metres out Kyle Moffitt scored on the blindside.

Following the early score, and in a mirror image again of the previous week, complacency set in and it was all ‘Skins could do to hold up the visiting forwards in a series of attacks on their line. The pressure eventually told however as Virginia managed a converted try through the first centre channel.

Some tough talking from the ‘Skins coach on the sidelines seemed to shake the team up and they immediately replied. A positional change between centre John Maguire and outhalf Sean Michael Breen paid dividends as the latter managed to score, although he was injured in the effort, and the conversion gave ‘Skins a halftime 12 – 7 lead.

The injury to Breen meant more changes were necessary at halftime but this did nothing to hamper ‘Skins winning effort as they exerted almost total control of the second period. The third try came from a quickly taken penalty by Fergal Lynam and Alex Gormley was the man on hand to score. Lynam added the conversion, reward for his quick thinking, but he needs to learn the art of patience and picking his moments for the quick penalties.

The backs were running the ball well, ably assisted by Greg McGovern and Stuart Phair, who kept popping up in support from the back row, and one such move saw winger James Taggart offload to fullback Conor Flanagan for a try in the corner, which McGovern converted.

The final try came from the forwards who were in total control by now and it was Phair who powered over from the base of a ruck to leave the final score at 31 – 7.

A complete team performance rather than one of fifteen individuals and one capped by a man of the match performance from Ryan “Dusty” McNulty, who despite two burst eardrums, and overcoming a bout of illness just prior to kick-off, put in an excellent shift.

The side coped well with a few missing and of the replacements Michael Kane stepped into centre and ran McNulty close with an outstanding game. The backrow were superb, in particular McGovern and Phair, who continually picked the right moments to get involved in the backline.

There are possibly a couple of weeks off from matches but this is a promising side who have won 3 from 3 in league encounters, but nothing less than 100% effort on the training field is required to keep the run going.


1st XV – Away – Omagh
3rd XV – Away – Ballymoney
4th XV – Home – Portadown
Under-19 – Away – Armagh/Monaghan

Similar Posts