Finn Valley v Enniskillen 3rd XV Fixture - Sep 10, 2016

Team Score Pts
Finn Valley 17 - 29 Enniskillen 3rd XV

Match Report

Finn Valley                 17
Enniskillen 3rd XV    29

After opening league wins from ERFC senior mens 1's and 2's, the pressure was on the 3's to continue the trend with a tricky opener away to Finn Valley in Ballybofey. With various social functions limiting availability the final team proved to be an encouraging blend of students, youth and experience. Finn Valley are a relatively new club and turned out with a large squad of young, eager players who had the advantage of having already one league game under their belt. However, skins' pack quickly dispelled any nerves through some early pressure and dominance over the Finn Valley pack, and after a great catch and drive from a lineout 10 metres out Dickie broke off and was driven over the line by captain Stephen Tummon to claim the first score inside 10 minutes. Skins continued to dominate and earned a penalty under the posts, but ignoring the posts evergreen Ross Duncan tapped and unselfishly fed Cahal McGarry who powered over the line. Scott Burrell converted. At this point it looked like Skins were in control of the game, 12-0 up, dominant in the pack and defensively strong; however, Finn Valley, as witnessed in the previous season, are not a team that roll over easily and some open play allowed them deep into skins 22m where their jinky scrum half broke from a ruck to dodge three poorly aimed tackles to score on the stroke of half time. The conversion leaving it 7-12 at halftime and the game back in the balance. In the second half both teams had territory and pressure which could have lead to scores if it hadn't been for some good defense or unforced errors. Blustery conditions hindered accuracy in the lineout, but the subsequent scrums were good news for skins who dominated on both 'put ins', indeed debutante fresher Sam Park was excellent at tight head and in open play ably assisted by his prop partner Jamie McKane who's into his second season now at Skins. It took a little bit of experience from former 1's captain Alan Wilkinson to pop a lovely pass into the hands of centre partner and 3rd XV debutante Matthew Monteith who ran well timed hard lines all day and sprinted in from the 22m. Burrell continued to be accurate with the boot to convert and give skins a little breathing space once again, although Finn Valley pulled a penalty kick back it was Burrell's turn to show some skill, turning accurate distributor once again for Monteith who took the ball on the halfway and had to show excellent speed and endurance to hand off 3 would be tacklers on his way to finishing the try of the game, no doubt leaving club coach Willie Gibson satisfied after supplying him with some hand off tips at training earlier that week. Not to be outdone Dickie finished off a good team try after a surging break from the kick off by Rea Armstrong; after breaking several tackles his strength allowed him to hold out for support and several offloads later saw Dickie dive over in the corner. That should have been it at 29-10, but what looked like a clever 22 drop out by skins was well read and intercepted by Finn's best player on the day who coasted into the corner and converted at the final whistle for a good skins win 29-17. A mention must go to the ever willing student Jamie Gibson who played hooker, flanker and full-back on the day equally competently, and other debutantes fresh out of school Lewis Millar, an excellent ball carrier, and last years U18 player Conal Boylan who tackled excellently on the wing. Letterkenny away in two weeks is the 3's next league challenge, whilst the 2's are at home to Limivady this Saturday.