|Enniskillen 2nd XV
||19 - 14
||Dromore 3rd XV
Enniskillen 2XV 19
Dromore 3XV 14
Not to be outdone by the 1st XV, Enniskillen 2nd XV followed suit and booked themselves a place in the Forster Cup final at Kingspan Stadium on the 16th April after grinding out a 19-14 win at home last Saturday against Dromore 3rd XV.
The Enniskillen forwards displayed cup level intensity from the start and looked set for a physical encounter. The Skins scrum was dominant throughout, with the front row of Jamie McKane, Richie Henderson and Alan Ferguson turning over countless Dromore put-ins during the game, quite a feat for makeshift centre turned hooker Henderson, making it a struggle for Dromore to build a platform. Ross Duncan carried destructively in trademark form, ably supported by Richard Grey and captain Richard Willis in the back row. The pressure from the forwards finally wrought rewards as Dromore were penalised at the breakdown deep in their own half, allowing Scott Burrell at out-half to take the three points with a nicely slotted penalty.
Dromore responded well, working their way back into the home side’s half and eventually setting up a lineout and resultant maul on the 5 metre line, crossing for a converted try to take the lead 7-3. Skins were not to be outdone and began to control the game yet again and made good ground from the restart. The rangy second row pairing of Eric Elliot and Cathal McGarry putting in an industrious shift around the park. The under pressure Dromore eventually gave away another penalty and Scott Burrell used the advantage to good effect, sticking up a well placed cross field kick; the chase was relentess by winger Keelan Kelly in pursuit and the Dromore back fumbled his attempt to take the cross field and centre John Gamble was on hand to gather for the score, Burrell converting to put Skins 10-7 up. Disaster then struck just before the half as 2nd XV stalwart Paul Burns was hit with an alleged late tackle that resulted in a serious leg injury, requiring a long stoppage and ending the half.
The second half began with Henderson moving to centre for the injured Burns and Rea Armstrong coming into hooker. The forwards were rampant at this stage and Dromore struggled to resist the onslaught from the Enniskillen pack; this led to constant infringements from the Dromore side and, fortunately for Skins, Scott Burrell’s boot was in fine form and he duly converted every penalty opportunity handed to him. Gradually increasing Enniskillen’s lead to 19-7 with three superb penalties sailing through the uprights. Dromore attempted a reprisal before full time with a long period of pressure deep in the Skins half, requiring some dedicated defence from the home side before Dromore eventually crossed to reduce their deficit to 19-14. It was too little too late however with 5 minutes to go as the rest of the game was played in midfield and ended with a knock on to mark full time and secure Enniskillen’s place in the final. Richard Willis and his 2nd XV have a well earned weekend off now before returning to league action but will be undoubtedly focused on their trip to Kingspan on 16th April where they will face Malone 4th XV in the final. Best wishes from all at Enniskillen Rugby Club to Paul Burns on a speedy recovery.