Enniskillen Ladies 17, Belfast Harlequins 24
In Enniskillen’s fifth match of the season they welcomed Belfast Harlequins a very windy
After last week’s disappointing performance, ‘Skins knew they needed a confident start to this
match and it began with Enniskillen kicking into the strong wind and they immediately put the
pressure on the ‘Quins pack. ‘Skins solid defence forced errors and ensured play was kept deep
inside the Harlequins half for the first 10 minutes providing ‘Skins with the confidence boost they
were looking for.
The hard work paid off when Enniskillen were rewarded with a penalty in front of the posts which
outhalf Caoimhe Morris converted with ease to put the first 3 points on the board. However, during
this phase of play Skins lost impressive prop Catherine Mallon to a broken nose forcing a reshuffle
at front row. ‘Skins took this change in their stride and the scrums continued to impress and still
managed to turn over the ‘Quins scrum on 2 occasions.
The restart saw some great defensive and attacking play from both sides. ‘Quins aggressiveness in
the ruck began to take its toll and provided their scrumhalf Zoe Templeton with clean ball and she
spun it out to the backs with Nikki Caughey taking full advantage of a gap in the ‘Skins defence to
dive in for ‘Quins first points. Caughey converted her try with 7 minutes of the first half remaining.
From the restart Skins defended impressively to leave the score 3 – 7 at the break.
The second half disappointingly saw a very different Enniskillen team take to the field and the
talented Harlequins back line easily took advantage of the non-existent defence, punishing the
’Skins girls with 3 tries and 1 conversion in the space of 10 minutes, leaving Enniskillen on the
wrong side of a 3 – 24 score line.
However, to their credit, ‘Skins managed to regroup and find the intensity they were playing with in
the first 40 minutes and they set the pace for the remainder of the game. The exceptional Gemma
McCutcheon put pressure on the ‘Quins pack and ‘Skins began to play the rugby they are capable
of, once again keeping ‘Quins pegged into their own “22”. Strong running from forwards Aisling
Maguire and Collette McMorrow created space for McCutcheon to pick and drive over the line for
her much deserved first senior try. Morris converted to narrow the gap to 10 – 24, thus giving
‘Skins a glimmer of opportunity to force themselves back into this encounter.
Immediately the ‘Skins girls showed their determination in defence and the pressure was showing in
the ‘Quins side as their discipline continued to lapse, resulting in a Skins penalty and Sorcha
Chipperfield being sent to the sin bin for the remaining 6 minutes of the game. Superb kicking
from Morris brought play back to near the ‘Quins try line and consistent crash balls from the ‘Skins
pack created space for winger Alexa Grudging to cross in the corner. Morris who had a fantastic all
round game kicked the difficult conversion to put ‘Skins a converted try away from snatching a
draw with only a few minutes left on the clock.
The girls did not give up and a terrific kick from prop Maguire unfortunately just sneaked the
wrong side of the corner flag and play was brought back to the halfway mark. ‘Skins did manage to
steal possession back but unfortunately the clock was against them and the final whistle was blown.
The Enniskillen girls were disappointed as this was yet another game that they blew the opportunity
to take the points, however this relatively inexperienced side will be keen to take the many positives
from this match into their next fixture and keep continuing to improve.
Special thanks to Terry McCartney for filling in as referee at late notice. [youtube OJCVCQXHpeU]
The Enniskillen girls continue their league campaign with another tough fixture away to Cill Dara
on November 27
Training continues each week on Tuesdays and Fridays at 6.3opm at Enniskillen Rugby Club.
Ladies of any age and skill are encouraged to join. For more information please contact Noreen on
07853008860 or find us on Facebook.