|Enniskillen 2nd XV
||42 - 6
||Ballynahinch 5th XV
Enniskillen Second XV registered a spectacular league victory at Mullaghmeen on Saturday over a formidable Ballynahinch Fifth XV side who were a testament to their club’s strength in depth.
It started as a tough physical encounter between the two sides with some huge clashes between the two forward packs and powerful carrying from Ricky Lee, Richie Willis and Danny Maguire constantly testing the Ballynahinch defence.
The balance tipped in Enniskillen’s favour however when a throw to the tail of the line out was gathered by Jack Harte, who made a dynamic break to threaten the opposition try line, and then following some swift passing Ashley Finlay drew first blood under the posts.
Enniskillen may have eased off after the try with miscommunication at the restart putting the side under enormous pressure, resulting in a short range penalty which was easily put over by the Ballynahinch kicker.
The Skins' defensive effort continued to wane with poor tackling allowing the opposition to break through on a number of occasions. The visitors slotted another penalty attempt and only for some aggressive hits from Paul Burns and Ashley Finlay the momentum of the game may have shifted to the visitors.
The home side began to regain their form in the second half, sparked by a fantastic take from Kaine Holden at the restart putting Skins deep in the opposition half, followed with a good close quarters carry from the flamboyant Steven Fox who bustled over for a try.
Another excellent bit of play from second row Kaine Holden, who seemed to find his inner winger, running from his own half for a try following a terrific Paul Burns offload, leaving the half time score at 21-6.
Hinch came back with a vengeance in the second half forcing Enniskillen to stage a big defensive effort with industrious efforts from William Finlay at hooker, and Michael Cadden and Stevie Frazer in the back row.
The Enniskillen chase was excellent from the eventual clearance and led to a turnover in the Ballynahinch half; this was well shifted out wide to Donagh O’Callaghan who gave a nicely timed pass inside to Jonny Foster for the Try.
After a balanced period of play Enniskillen then exploited a scrum in the Ballynahinch half, with the front row, despite struggling in previous encounters on the day, providing a solid base for scrum-half Paddy McCleery, who shipped an impeccable pass through to Ashley Finlay to put winger Chris Henry in for a try in the corner.
There were more opportunities for the Enniskillen side with a stolen ball from dogged flanker Jack Harte and further expert offloads from Paul Burns almost producing scores, but in the end it was a stunning line and aggressive hand-off from Nathan Richmond for the final try, converted by the flawless Donagh O’Callaghan, as were all tries on the day for the 42-6 victory.
Coach for the day Ricky Connor was overjoyed at the performance.
“It’s great to see the guys bounce back so well after a week off and after a tough defeat to Portadown the weekend before that.
“It was great stuff to watch for the supporters too and just shows the enjoyable, open style of rugby we’re capable of playing once we get the wind in our sails.”
This weekend the First XV return to league duty playing Coleraine at home while the 2nd XV play away to Queens, and the the 3rd XV take on Portadown away.