|Portadown 3rd XV
||17 - 28
||Enniskillen 2nd XV
Portadown 3rd XV 17
Enniskillen 2nd XV 28
Enniskillen 2nd XV continued their winning ways last Saturday, travelling away to a strong Portadown team. Portadown were undefeated against this Skins side last season with two narrow wins, which undoubtedly fuelled the fire of aggression in the young and developing Skins team.
Portadown came out of the blocks at a staggering pace which flustered the sleepy Enniskillen side for the first ten minutes. Skins’ break came when speedy Chris Henry snuck in and intercepted a pass on the half way line and ran it home under the posts, easily converted by Zlatan Daley.
Now that skins had the cobwebs blown off they were in fine form, sustaining constant pressure against the opposition with big hard hitting lines being ran from the new centre combination of Monty and Willis. With this unrelenting pressure the Portadown side couldn’t contain the momentum which led to Matthew “Bambi” Balmer finding a gap, slipping through and scoring before the home side had time to react.
Portadown found new aggression now with their heavily packed and experienced team seizing an opportunity from an Enniskillen error which left Skins back tracking and failing to compose a resounding defence, leading to Portadowns first try.
Skins regrouped from the restart and no more than 5 phases later they unleashed their deadly weapon on the wing. The ball got shifted out wide into the bread basket of Robbie Baloucoune who then proceeded to dance majestically around the home side from the halfway line at phenomenal pace leading to Skins third try, once again converted by Daley. The home side had another short reprisal just before half time to leave the score at 21-12 going into the interval.
The second half saw a revitalised and focused skins side with improved organisation, impressive line speed and seemingly impenetrable defence against some decent periods of attack from the home side. The partnership of big Kaine Holden and little Eric Elliott in second row overpowered the home side in every scrum, with the youngest of the team Kieran Fee savagely stealing the Portadown put-in at every opportunity.
There was a lot of play in the middle of the park from the forwards in the second half as Portadown brought on some fresh legs and defended well for a time. The break for Skins finally came after some brilliant play from the entirety of the side which led to flanker Cathal McGarry catching the ball on the opposition 5 meter line, and accidentally tripping over his own feet, before placing the ball under the posts for Enniskillen’s 4th and final try to which Balmer converted.
A tiring Skins side failed to hold off a regrouping Portadown who ran in their second try in the corner, missing the conversion. With the score at 28-12 Skins’ fitness started to diminish and with 10 minutes to go Portadown won a line out on the 5 meter line which was mauled and placed over the line to finish the game 28-17.
The result was a massively improved performance for the 2nd XV and a good example of their development from last season against a side which they usually struggled to see off. This weekend sees the 2nd XV take on Instonians 3XV at home, all support appreciated.