Enniskillen Rugby I XV 55 v Grosvenor Rugby I XV 10

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Enniskillen cruised to a comfortable victory in their final home match of the season, to record a double over Grosvenor, having been victorious 7 – 5 at Belmont back in September.

‘Skins were certainly up for the match and came out of the blocks quickly, putting the visitors immediately on the defensive, and were ahead with six minutes on the clock. A decision to kick for touch from a penalty backfired on ‘Skins when possession was lost, but from the resulting scrum the forwards pushed Grosvenor off their own ball, Jamie Johnston picked up from the base and drove over. James McIntyre’s conversion rebounded off the post but ‘Skins had a five point start.

Straight from the restart some sloppy work gave Grosvenor a chance for an immediate reply with a penalty and this was duly accepted closing the gap to 5 – 3.

The forwards were completely bossing the game with scrum after scrum going with ‘Skins and a second try came after eleven minutes when Johnston again broke from the back with Gareth Beatty was on hand to romp over the line. This time McIntyre made sure with the kick and ‘Skins lead was pushed out to 12 – 3.

‘Skins were running rampant and by the time twenty minutes had gone had secured a try scoring bonus point and were scoring at a rate exceeding a point per minute! Gavin Parke started and finished the move for the third try when he broke and was then on hand to finish off a great run from centre Paul Burns. Then with Grosvenor retreating close to their own line, Ricky Connors fed Richie Finlay who ghosted past the last defender and rounded behind the posts to make the conversion a formality and the scoreline 24 – 3.

‘Skins were not finished yet and scored twice more before halftime, firstly Johnston again capitalised on a big surge in the scrum to score his second, converted by McIntyre and as the half ended, a loose ball was hacked upfield and Trevor Whitaker was first to the ball, scoring to leave the halftime score 36 – 3 to ‘Skins.

Grosvenor where first on the scoreboard in the second period when the winger had too much pace for the ‘Skins defence, scoring a converted try after just three minutes. Despite this early setback ‘Skins’ line was rarely threatened and behind a dominant scrum it was they who looked far and away the more dangerous.

Hazlit Brian, returning after injury, set up ‘Skins next score with a surging run and when Beatty was stopped short of the line a relieving penalty was awarded to the visitors but in their haste to run out of defence they lost the ball at the breakdown and ‘Skins swung left where, despite having to stop to collect a pass behind him, Mark O’Shea broke the line to score his first and the team’s seventh try with eighteen minutes gone.

Two minutes later and it was O’Shea again who scored. Both sides were down to fourteen men but as Grosvenor’s walking wounded returned a magnificent passage of play saw ‘Skins move the ball through multiple phases and when it did go to ground it was O’Shea who reacted quickest to pick-up and stretch over the line, with McIntyre again successful with the conversion.

With half and hour played in the second half Gavin Warrington got a deserved try to round out a good day for the props. In the tight scrums, ‘Skins simply punished their opposite number’s and in the loose they run them ragged, typified by this final score, when “Guv” was involved twice before finishing the move. McIntyre landed his fifth conversion and the referee decided enough was enough, leaving the final score 55 – 10.

‘Skins have two games remaining with which to try and achieve their highest possible finish it what has been a difficult, truncated, season. The signs have been promising with a lot of good work on the training paddock finally showing itself in matches. Consistency has been an issue and this and being perhaps a bit more “street wise” are things to be worked on with a view to securing a return to Qualifying One in the not too distant future.

Fixtures

Saturday 23rd April

1st XV – Away – Lisburn

Wednesday 27th April

2nd XV – Away – Clogher Valley

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