Enniskillen Under 14s v Ballyclare Fixture - Oct 11, 2014

Team Score Pts
Enniskillen Under 14s 19 - 12 Ballyclare

Match Report

A good deal of hard work has gone into combining last year’s U12s with the very successful U13 team from the 2013/14 season, but this match, against a strong team from Ballyclare, gave an indication that the work could prove to be very fruitful. Last year’s U13s constituted, by the end of the season, a very well balanced, well drilled side that had no equal in their particular division. The loss of players to the grammar school structure, imposed by a quirk of the Ulster Branch Youth system, was always going to have a considerable effect on a team that had played together for three consecutive seasons. The indication that the effect might not be entirely negative is down to the quality of many of the U12 players who are making the step up to Under 14 level. It would have been very difficult for any rugby pundit to pick out Niall Keenan, Will Greenaway or, particularly Dylan Flynn, as players who were a year younger and a year less experienced than those around them.

That aside it was last year’s stars that made the most immediate impact. The match was not more than 5 minutes old when Matthew Brown spun a quick ball to his out half, Jack O’Hare, who shimmied and side stepped before changing gear to leave the opposition trailing for a try under the posts. Captain, Aaron Clarke, converted. Enniskillen’s forwards were dominant in both loose and set plays and they supplied sufficiently consistent, quick ball to O’Hare, Flynn and Daire Hill in the backs to keep the visitors on the back foot. However, half way through the first half Enniskillen suffered a body blow when their outstanding captain, Aaron Clarke, dislocated his knee, a particularly painful injury. The loss of their athletic and dynamic No. 8 considerably reduced the team’s intensity of play and Ballyclare soon began to gain a greater percentage of the possession. Some strong running by their backs gave them a try before half-time and a 7 to 5 score at the break.

Enniskillen settled to their task in the second half and O’Hare obliged with another converted try. This was answered by an excellent try by the Ballyclare right wing which was converted to bring the score to 14 to 12. Enniskillen kept their composure in the latter part of the second half and Conan Leonard muscled his way over to put the match beyond doubt just before the close of play. The final score of 19 to 12 puts Enniskillen at the top of the Under 14 league.