SPECIAL FEATURE: ENNISKILLEN RUGBY CLUB: Looking Forward to 2011/12:Intouch TV Reports: Pictures: Comments: History: Minis, Seniors, Youth & ladies

Lets Begin with Enniskillen Rugby Club I XV scoring a try in Qualifying 2. An awesome end to the season. This review aims to give an overview of Enniskillen Rugby Club.
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A glance through the results at the very bottom of this article (all InTouch Rugby Reports on Enniskillen rugby are at the bottom of the article) will show you that Enniskillen I XV were the only side to beat CIYMS in the 2010/11 season! They also came within 2 points of beating the league 2nd placed team Donaghadee who also gained promotion and they were only put out of the Towns Cup by the eventual winners. This statistic combined with a coach (Patrick Garat) entering only his second year and a youthful side now vastly matured from last season must leave Enniskillen with no doubt that if the players stay then it must surely only be a matter of time for the results to come.

We caught up with them this week and discovered a professionally run vibrant club with a deep love of the game which is built on club ethos and a commitment to having fun. Proud and strong we also know from the results on the pitch this season that there is a steely core, a simmering will to achieve from the senior squad fielding a I & II XV through the Ladies I XV, youth and mini teams. A club that benefits from an excellent catchment area tempered by immigration and the impact of particularly skillfull players deciding to have a go at higher levels.

The 2011/12 President Reggie Ferguson was available for comment and said the following….

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Pride in the jersey, pride in ourselves, belief that we are good enough, and we can be the best, thats the ethos that every club instills and when times are tight and the results don’t go your way, thats when the character of leaders emerge and Enniskillen only 2 years ago found themselves in the nightmare scenario which lands at various clubs doors every season, relegation. Terrible results, close calls, depressed and deflated players struggling to find anything to be positive about, followed by close calls that don’t go your way.

But they have consolidated and they acted. Action is critical and there will be clubs over the coming years of increased financial and player pool pressure who may leave it too late. Enniskillen stopped the negative spin in its tracks and last season halted the run of bad results in its tracks!!!!! They were the only side in Q2 to beat eventual winners CI. They were within points of winning another 5 or 6 games. They are simmering now.

Club Captain Alan Wilkinson and last years Chairman of Rugby Andrew Smallwoods comment on last season which saw new ideas at Enniskillen Rugby Club from their new coach Patrick Garat and on wearing the “Skins” jersey

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Enniskillen have come through this hard time and the maturity and experience of their management team combined with the pioneering step of employing a professional coach and nurturing a young and very skilled side means that this club has stability and the foundation for growth!

Chairman Of Rugby Garry Law has a vision for the entire club. Something that is always there at Enniskillen, something that is taken for granted but when re-energised is the cornerstone of every successful club in the world, and that includes the professional. Without club spirit there is no club, below is an interview with Garry which establishes this.

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Rugby is our life. There may be some things which are more important but come Tuesday and Thursday night and game day Saturday, everything except rugby takes 2nd place as the players prepare to put into practice the phyiscal, skill, and psychological tools required to win games of rugby.

Enniskillen Rugby have a sincere passion for their sport and when the various parts of the jigsaw clip into place then suddenly the results that were only a few points the wrong side of the scoreline suddenly become winning results but from speaking to the guys the experiences they have picked up over the past few years will put them in a position to consolidate their place and build towards the future.

Ladies Rugby holds a special place in the sport and it is amazing to see the very same skills and game mentality which the ladies bring to the pitch. Professional, proud and strong Enniskillen Ladies is a team of talent. A number of the ladies are actually training on the Ulster Ladies Rugby Panel and after a hard season this year they are determined and have a superb group that is growing. Interviewing Noreen this week was an honour. The Enniskillen Ladies are flying the flag for Ladies rugby in perhaps a 50-70 mile radius around Enniskillen, and we are looking forward to profiling them next season. We asked noreen how things wrere going for the ladies and her interview is below:

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InTouch is delighted to be associated with this proud Ulster club as we are with all Ulster Clubs and the development of the sport in Fermanagh is starting to make strides with the help of Ulster rugby and the work Enniskillen Youth convenor Stuart McCrea and Mini Rugby Convenor Alaistair Keys cannot be over stated (their interviews below are inspirational). The youth system is the future, and what a future is waiting in the wings at Enniskillen Rugby Club. I met these guys in Enniskillen last week and the passion they have for the development of these areas with the club is immense. As Ulster Rugby rises to become the best in the world it is exactly these volunteers from grassroots and I stress volunteers! It is exactly these men in clubs across Ulster who will enable this. Next season InTouch will be doing an individual feature on both the youth and mini systems at Enniskillen and look forward to meeting the guys for a full Saturday morning of coverage.

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It is very easy to describe the passion for rugby at Enniskillen – Its as big as any. The club is in good shape, the last few years have had their impact on sponsorships and immigration due to economic circumstances has not helped but they are still standing and with scalps like CIYMS under their belt they are very focused on having an immense summer of planning, co-ordinating and preparing for battle.

Every cog that can be developed by the management is being investigated. Of course there are those things that cannot be helped but with no stone left unturned their is an energy and enthusiasm, an optimism and when a club digs deep together, it is astounding how the little steps forward become a little more frequent.

We look forward to covering Enniskillen Rugby Club next season.

E.R.F.C. – A “brief” history.

The Beginning

The rugby club was formed on 28thAugust 1925, when 37 attended a meeting in Enniskillen Town
Hall, when the name, Enniskillen Rugby Club, was agreed, and it was also agreed that the club
adopt the rules of Dublin University, as much as possible. Excellent minutes of this meeting still

The first committee was formed by –
President – Dr L Kidd
Captain – O R Darling
Vice-Captain – J S Long
Secretary – A Graham
Treasurer – S G Switzer
Asst Treasurer – R Martin
J A N Dickson, R L Murray, R Westcopp-George & A McGregor
The first match was played on 30th September 1925 against Ballyshannon, in the Co Donegal town,
with a team of -McWilliams, Darling, Ongunn, Warren, Eadie, Hare, Maguire, Coulter, Crothers, Daly, Long,
Mavitty, Rafferty, Robinson and Sadlier.
The club leased ground at Raceview, Enniskillen from a Mr Thomas Rutherford for £20 and
consideration that “no animals are allowed to trespass or graze on the field between 1st
September1925 and 1stApril 2006”.
Whilst the club was not officially formed until 1925, the game of rugby had been played at Portora
Royal School from the 1870’s, and there are records of Enniskillen entering the Junior Cup in 1882,
and Provincial Towns’ Cup in 1907, so it is likely that the game was played on an ad hoc basis prior
to formation. At the 3rd AGM the secretary reported that “keenness was a very visible exhibition right from the
beginning to the end of the season. The quality of the players play was very marked in its
improvement and everything worked out in perfect harmony, so essential to the life of a club”. In
this season the first honour caps were presented to Ernest Gilpin, George Warren and Walter
Cooper.The First Successes During the 1927/28 season the club saw it’s first competitive success when they defeated City of
Derry, 21 – 5, winning the McMillan Cup on 28th March. When the team arrived home they were
met by two pipe bands and skipper, George Warren was carried aloft through the town! Also, H E
Cummings won an Ulster interpro cap.