Enniskillen Rugby I XV 12 & II XV v Donaghadee Rugby I XV 13 & Carrick Rugby: In Pictures: Includes I XV Report

4 minutes, 24 seconds Read


Enniskillen 1st XV-12 v Donaghadee 1st XV-13

Whether the referee was right to overrule the two touch judges and disallow the Enniskillen sides penalty in the first half; whether, with five minutes to it was sensible for the home side to forgo a clearly kickable penalty opportunity in favour of a five yard scrum when there was only one point separating the teams;- rueful debating points for philosophic Skins supporters but no doubt ‘luck of the draw’ incidentals to the Donaghadee team and it’s supporters leaving Mullaghmeen having secured four valuable league points in the club’s, now serious, quest for promotion from qualifying league two.

Had the Enniskillen side won this game that they dominated more and more as the match went on, it might still have been possible to entertain the hope that despite an indifferent start to the season and the disruptive weather, they too, were in the promotion race with a chance.

It was a game played in ideal conditions between two sides who were clearly aware of what was at stake. Enniskillen had the better of the early exchanges and only good tactical kicking by the visitors out half was able to take them within striking distance of the Enniskillen line. That was all they needed. A well worked line-out and good driving forward play found the home sides defence wanting and Donaghadee were seven points ahead. Within five minutes, not one, but two instances of indiscipline saw Enniskillen penalised twice within scoring distance. The second penalty was successful.

Skins drove back into the visitors half and good forward play matched by determined running was rewarded when Captain Alan Wilkinson crossed the line half way out. The points were added and at half time Donaghadee turned round to face a slight breeze but with a 10-7 lead.

The second half saw Donaghadee in the Enniskillen half for just one period of less than ten minutes. During that time they were able to add a penalty to take the score to 13-7. There were still 25 minutes left. The Skins pack was becoming more and more dominant, particularly in the set scrums; where the front row of Alan Ferguson, Ryan Cathcart and Gareth Beattie were particularly effective. Only by excellent tackling and well organised defence were Donaghadee able to withstand the phased attacks of the Skins pack led by Jamie Johnston. With 15 minutes to go, scrumhalf Richard Connor found a way through to score a fine try. The conversion failed. Enniskillen continued to come forward. With five minutes left and Donaghadee appearing to wilt, a five yard scrum was preferred to a penalty half-way out. Donaghadee defence held out. Enniskillen’s run of victories since Christmas was at an end.

This is a much better focused Enniskillen side than the team that lost to Donaghadee in October. The prospect of re-entering Section 1 of the qualifying league may have receded, but there are still nine league fixtures to play and the prospect of a semi final place in the Towns Cup. Skins were the stronger team on Saturday, ‘Dee’ more streetwise.

Enniskillen II – 3 Carrick II – 10

Enniskillen faced a Carrick side which had recently run into a rich vein of form, but playing with the slight
wind in the first half ‘Skins had the better of territory and took the lead through a Daniel Allister penalty after
25 minutes, and it was no more than they deserved despite not firing on all cylinders with the lineout in
particular coming under pressure.
Carrick were by no means out of it and nearly scored after a period of good pressure before half-time but
‘Skins held onto their lead.
In the second half the visitors had the benefit of a strengthening wind and their out-half cleverly used this,
kicking for territory. The ‘Skins back three, with Mark Ross to the fore, ran the ball back well and contributed
to a very enjoyable game.
If Carrick were shading the lineouts ‘Skins had the better of the scrums and David Taylor was causing the
visitors problems as he was always making ground from number 8, turning the defenders.
A turning point perhaps was when Michael Law made the line after a great run only to lose control as he
grounded it, but with fifteen minutes to go Skins were still leading.
Carrick however were the benefactors of an over-fussy referee and some ‘Skins ill-discipline and they started
to do better at the breakdown from which they were won a penalty to level the game up.
Worse was to come for ‘Skins when with seven minutes remaining Carrick kicked a penalty to the corner and
from the resulting set piece their out-half sliced through for a try under the posts which he converted for an
unassailable lead.
‘Skins did try to mount a come back but it was too late and Carrick held on for victory.
A trip to the seaside in the shape of Bangor awaits ‘Skins this weekend in the Crawford Cup,. And they will
be working hard in midweek to bounce back and regain some of the good form they have shown in recent

Similar Posts