|Carrick Ladies 1st XV
||7 - 42
||Enniskillen Ladies 1st XV
Carrick Ladies 7
Enniskillen Ladies 42
With a handful of illnesses and injuries, Enniskillen kicked off their first half a player down to the home side opponents Carrickfergus. Skins began the match at pace and within minutes a break from Ashling Maguire helped Skins run the ball across the Carrick touch line, but Collette McMorrow was regrettably held up in touch. Without far to retreat for a penalty, Skins capitalised and full-back Louise Thompson scored the first try of the game.
Skins then settled comfortably into position within the Carrick half, where much of the play remained for the first half. Noreen Nethercott punched holes through the Carrick defensive line constantly all day, and was rewarded with a well-earned try within the opening 10 minutes. A player down in the back-line for the first half, Skins were forced to be industrious, with great forward running off Captain Sarah Teague, Alana McCaffrey and Shauna McMorrow. Confident command of the backline by Aoibhin Kelly contributed to some excellent wide-ball play to deliver the ball to Nicky McSherry on the right wing who scored an excellent team try on the 20 minute mark.
Emma-Leigh McAllister received a baptism of fire playing her first full match as scrum-half but rose to the challenge with some excellent pressure off opposing scrums, along with number 8 Leona Connolly, and guidance from the seasoned Nethercott at fly-half.
Carrick didn’t present much of a threat during the half, although were strong in the ruck and Skins suffered some turnover balls which could cause problems against nippier teams. Skins pack put in some excellent defensive work with a charge down from Shauna McMorrow inflicting all sorts of pressure, and Ashling Maguire once again proving her ability to break through the Carrick defence, touching down for a deserved try.
Skins finished the half with an epic break from Nethercott who ran from her own 22m line to tap the ball down right under the posts, leaving the score 25-0 at half time.
Carrick came out in the second half and aggressively attacked Enniskillen’s defensive line with a heavy reliance on their number 8, Ulster Ladies forward Sabrina Higgins and substitute number 17 making an impact. They formed a maul in the Enniskillen 22 before crashing over for their first and only try of the game, which they converted. Emboldened, Carrick made repeat attempts to force through but Skins showed excellent team defence, were quick off the line and put in excellent tackles with a number of turnovers to once again regain control. Bolstered by the addition of Leanne Hall on the wing, there were some speedy breaks from winger Erika Porter and a busting run from Collette McMorrow to carry Skins out of their own half, with support from Hall on the wing, and Sarah Teague who continued the run for a try in the right corner.
Carrick had one final attacking effort, and with a penalty inside Skins 22 they opted for an unusual linear attack, but this was shut down early with another well-timed tackle from Maguire.
A line out on the right wing was recycled right across the pitch, with another delicious team play effort culminating in McSherry’s second try on the far wing, converted by Ashling Maguire.
Despite lacking a kicker in conversions, the ladies finished comfortably on 42-7 and are currently sitting top of the league, in a win that certainly made it worth missing the RWC quarter final. Skins look forward to a return to full strength to take on Cavan at home on November 1.
Enniskillen Ladies continue to train on Tuesdays at 7pm and Thursdays at 8pm and welcome all new players along.