Group Shot ! Enniskillen RFC !

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Enniskillen 1st XV 13
Ballyclare 1st XV 6
Enniskillen 1st XV got back to winning ways last Saturday in a hard fought 13-6 victory at Mullaghmeen against a physical Ballyclare side.
Ballyclare looked set for a physical contest from the outset and carried hard at the Enniskillen defensive line. Skins dealt with the pressure well but the visitors were consistently making good ground and kept the home side pinned back for the first 10 minutes. The consistent possession for Ballyclare wrought rewards early on as Skins captain David Buchanan saw a yellow card for attempting to turn over ball at the ruck, and a resultant 3 point penalty for Ballyclare left Skins looking dangerously on the back foot.
The response of the home side was fantastic in this respect as they came back at Ballyclare looking composed and physical while a man down. The forwards made good ground with ball in hand and the counter attack from the back three, particularly Robert Baloucoune at full back, severely blunted the kicking threat from the Clare out half. Skins now began to dominate territory as the vissitors became pinned back in their own half and were unable to gain any respite as their set piece struggled. Holden and Carleton hounded the opposition line out while the front row of Ferguson/Fox, Cathcart and Beatty were in the ascendency. The pressure began to tell as Ballyclare began to give away numerous penalties in their own half for breakdown infringements and then illegal attempts to disrupt the Skins maul as the home side looked to cross the whitewash. John Maguire duly converted two penalties in the first half to restore morale, and as Buchanan returned to the field. the Ballyclare side’s discipline waned and they dropped to 13 men late in the first half.
The visitors admirably held Skins out for a long period but, after a good break from James Ferguson brought play into the second half, Skins exhibited strong ball retention and continued to attack the Clare line before swift hands out wide found James Carleton who crossed for a try, excellently converted by Maguire to leave the score 13-3 at the end of the first half.
The second half was a low scoring affair but no less intense. Ballyclare restored their numbers and gave everything to turn the very tight contest. Enniskillen had to absorb a lot of pressure in their own half and put on a stellar defensive display, along with industrious work from the forwards to disrupt the opposition set piece. Conor Keys on his debut carried out his defensive duties extremely well at inside centre, and despite a long period of pressure Ballyclare never really looked like crossing the Enniskillen line. Some ill discipline at the breakdown and instances offside in defence gave Ballyclare a few opportunities at goal during this period but, fortunately for Skins, two were to drift wide and only one found it’s mark to reduce the deficit 13-6. Enniskillen did still have some decent periods of attack and Ashley Finlay excellently collected a box kick to almost cross the line but Ballyclare covered back well to thwart the attempt and an eventual knock on ended the fixture 13-6 to Skins.
It was a physical battle for Enniskillen against a good Q1 side, and opposition which they’ve faced numerous times in the last few years without registering a win. This will give Skins confidence as they prepare to face the in form Omagh on New Year’s Eve. To fill the festive void the 1st XV will face an exiles side on Boxing Day in what should be a great day’s entertainment at Mullaghmeen.
Armagh 4th XV 0
Enniskillen 3rd XV 28
Enniskillen 3rd XV travelled to regional league runners up Armagh in a potentially very difficult McCambley cup tie last Saturday. A knock on from Enniskillen at the initial kickoff perhaps displayed the initial apprehension running through the team, however, this was soon dispelled as Enniskillen’s front row of Darren Baker, David Irvine and Rea Armstrong drove Armagh back in the resultant scrum to turnover the ball. This would prove to be a regular feature, and with Cathal McGarry and Richie Grey disrupting and stealing lineout ball also, Armagh struggled to have enough set piece ball to get a real foothold in the match. Strong carries forward by the pack and excellent rucking allowed quick clean ball for scrum half Daniel Allister to feed playmaker Chris McVitty at 10. McVitty in turn hit the experienced centre Alan Wilkinson who, with a final perfect miss pass, fed James Cunningham to show a clean pair of heels and glide in at the corner for the opening try, conversion missed, 5-0 with 5 minutes played. Soon after in almost repeat style Enniskillen scored again; this time instead of the wide ball, a perfectly weighted short flat pass in the centre to lock McGarry at speed was unstoppable from 20 meters out, McGarry making a habit of scoring good tries these days, a mark of his fitness and good support play. Armagh had a couple of nippy halfbacks who were confident with ball in hand and indeed, when the Armagh pack got into Enniskillen’s 22m, they quickly fed a wide ball to their speedy winger who went around the defence and touched down unchallenged. Enniskillen found  themselves under a little pressure now at 10-5 but the pack responded excellently with an organised defence and super counter-rucking at the the appropriate time to regain possession and allow McVitty and full back Keith Hurst to use their trusty boots to execute some clever clearing kicks. There may have been a third try as the excellent and evasive Joel Mullholland stole ball, and broke two tackles before chipping the fullback who scenically checked him to prevent the try. Quite rightly the Armagh fullback received a yellow card for the last 10 minutes of the half and Mcvitty added a penalty. In the second half Armagh started as they finished the first half on the attack, but again Enniskillen’s impressive back row of Ross Duncan, fresher Lewis Millar and prop Sam Park who played like an open side, first in support and over the ruck all day to hold them out. However, always on the edge at the breakdown, Duncan was yellow carded after a team warning. Despite being a man down there was another super break and interchange of passes that saw Cunningham stopped just short, but powerful centre Richard Henderson gathered and went over. Henderson added his second at the end following a sublime move with Wilkinson, popping a short ball to him cutting back at pace to race under the posts to seal the victory in fine fashion, 28-0. It was a really good team performance in both defence and attack and, although the tries were finished in style out wide, the hard work of the pack allowed the talented backs to perform. The team looks forward to commencing to the quarter final stage and the premier league in January.
Donegal Under-14s 17
Enniskillen Under-14s 39
Enniskillen under-14s travelled to Donegal for a match last Saturday, and were in high spirits due to improved numbers and some constructive work at training in past weeks. Key players Jacob Brown and Charles Johnston were unable to travel due to sickness, so Alfie Cooper jumped in at hooker and Ryan Beattie at 8. The match started with skins receiving and they started building phases well; an unfortunate knock on resulted in a scrum which Donegal won, allowing their 9 to skip around to side step a defender and win the race to the corner to score the first try, the conversion was missed. From the restart skins put pressure on Donegal and attacked the scrum well. An infringement at the ruck allowed the Skins defence to clear and from the resulting line out, skins secured ball and crept up the pitch. Then debutant Nathan Nixon broke the line to run over two thirds of the pitch to score in the corner, Aidan Maguire’s conversion attempt just coming back off the post. Skins received the restart and were starting to dominate when a knock on allowed Donegal some relief. Some naive defence saw Donegal progress to the Skins 22, and, when they failed to get through the reorganised defence, they kicked over the top and charged down a clearing kick, the ball landing in goal under the posts with a Donegal hand touching down for an easy converted try to go 12-5 up. Skins then took the game to Donegal and forced some strong defence from the home side, but eventually after numerous phases Alfie Cooper got over in the corner for a try, the Conversion was short. Skins received the kick off with strong ball carries from Cameron Aiken, Ryan Beattie and James Ross, whilst the remainder of the pack provided good ruck support. Donegal finally succumbed with James Ross scoring under the post, with the conversion missed it was half time 12 to 15 in skins favour. The second half saw skins start off as they ended the first, dominating possession with John Armstrong finishing in the Corner, Patrick Tracey’s conversion effort went close but drifted wide. Skins knocked on from the restart and Donegal exploited it well, their dangerous 9 side stepping and handing off two defenders to score in the corner. The score now at 17 to 20 skins regained their intensity, quickly counter rucking to secure ball. Aidan Maguire and new 10 John Armstrong were linking well, providing centres Chris Elliott and Aaron Haire better ball and strike opportunities, with Chris Elliott breaking to score under the posts and Maguire converting 17 to 27. Skins continued to dominate play, forcing the ball down the Donegal line. A scrum on the edge of the 22 gave scrum half Maguire a chance and he went down the blind side and under the post to score and convert to go 34-17 up. The Donegal 9 kicked the restart away from the forwards and forced debutant Rhys McCormack off the pitch; however, from the resulting line out Donegal knocked on and skins won the scrum. The skins scrum half was wrapped up by his opposite man at the back of the scrum and Rhys McCormack reacted quickly to ruck out and hang onto possession. From this Skins started to force their way up the pitch but Donegal defended tenaciously and ripped the ball loose; Thomas Wallace reclaimed after rucking out three Donegal players over the ball and it bounced off a foot, Aaron Haire reacted quickest kicking the ball down the pitch where he gathered just inside the opposition 22 and went into the corner for the final score of the game. It was a deserved win for the young side and to have 7 different try scorers from well worked team play is a great sign. The under-14s now break for Christmas before returning to training in preparation for the trip to Omagh on 31st December.
Enniskillen U18’s 42 
Belfast Met 0


With the Skins U18 side having a free weekend from the league, they wanted to maintain momentum, and what better way than to host a Collage team in a friendly.
Belfast Met arrived on Saturday morning to Mullaghmeen, and as they got off their bus the young Skins team were taken back by the size of the young Belfast side, and it took a few words of encouragement from coaches before the game got under way.
Belfast Met kicked off and Skins recycled good ball through Fullback Michael O’Hare who made a powerful run and broke the Met’s defence; Skins went through serval phases of play and then got quick ball out to Centre Tyler Millar who powered over the line with 3 defenders hanging onto him to score a converted try on the 3rd minute. The young Skins continued to dominate the early exchanges running the ball back at every opportunity and making great inroads attacking the heart of the Met’s pack through Second Row partners Jack McKee and Owen McGovern. It wasn’t long before Skins crossed the white wash again after camping in the Met’s 22 and playing a great offloading game that got quick ball once again to Millar who cut open the defence and scored a converted try on the 12th minute to leave the score 14 nil to Skins. With the dominance that the Skins pack was now showing, with great carries from Flanker Conor Maguire, it wasn’t long before out half Jarlath Maguire ran in a converted try, stepping a few defenders on his way, just on the 20th minute. For the next 10 minutes the young Skins continued to dominate the game but some possible white line fever crept into their game and killed off 3 try scoring opportunities to leave the halftime score 21-0 to the Skins.
The home side kicked off the second half and the Met brought the game to them. The Belfast side started moving the ball fast and pegged Skins back in their own 22, but couldn’t break down a tough Skins defence with some great tackles from centre Adrian Maguire. The defence from Skins was well disciplined and waited patiently for turnover ball, which came at a ruck shortly after through the pivotal No. 8 Jamie Kelly who stole ball and carried back at the defence. This set up Scrum half Josh Kyle who jinked through the Met’s defence from the halfway line and scored a converted try against the run of play to leave the score 28-0 to Skins. Skins moved the ball around effortlessly and struck again through Millar who scored a converted try to complete his hat-trick of the day to leave the score 35-0 on the 45th minute. After the Met’s coaches had a seemingly crucial word with their players about playing for some pride they regrouped and strung serval phases of play together. The Skins defence was resolute with some big tackling in the pack and superb counter rucking through prop partners David Jenkins and Diarmuid Scallon, making life difficult for the Met. They tried kicking the ball in behind the Skins defence but wing partners Daniel Roofe and Aidan McKenna were always on hand to clear the danger. On the 58th minute the Met got a scrum on the halfway line, Hooker Dylan McKervey won his 3rd ball against the head which fed Flanker Eoin Cleary the ball and he broke the Met’s backline and chipped the ball over the last defender and chased over the line to score a converted try to end the scoring 42-0 to Skins. The last try summed up the Skins performance from start to finish as they dominated every aspect of the game.
This was a good warm up game for Skins who travel to a tough Omagh team on New Year’s Eve, The 18s side are now top of the league after completing the 1st half of their fixtures and still remain unbeaten this season. Skins are a very talented team who ooze potential and can have success at the end of the season if they remain committed and the performances continue.

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