|City of Derry Ladies
||31 - 13
City of Derry Ladies 31
Enniskillen Ladies 13
Skins Ladies travelled to City of Derry last Sunday in their first league fixture of the 2016/17 season with their backs well and truly against the wall, travelling with depleted numbers they were forced to play a woman down for the duration of the game; not ideal circumstances for blooding some new talent from the youth system.
It was a calm, sunny day that gratefully lacked the torrential rain seen in other parts of the country. The feeling was ominous however amongst the Skins ladies as Derry collected the Enniskillen kick off and immediately ran in a try in the early minutes. The cobwebs of the journey were evident and the Derry ladies exploited defensive gaps from the opposition to gain substantial yards in the first half. Derry soon crossed the line again which seemed to ignite some resolve amongst the Skins girls. Shauna Murphy at out half executed a well placed restart and the pressure from Enniskillen was much improved, eventually forcing a penalty from the home side and allowing Murphy to claim 3 points.
The Skins girls were much improved in defence now in the latter stages of the second half after conceding a combined 4 tries in their early efforts; furthermore looking confident in attack, working the ball to the wings excellently through a much changed backline. The play was much more composed from the girls, kicking well for territory in an effort to keep the Derry side in their own half.
The second half continued to be a more positive affair for Enniskillen, putting in a strong defensive display. The forward pack began to carry impressively around the fringe of the ruck and ball retention was much improved. The hard work paid dividends when a crash ball from Louise Thompson off the back of a scrum broke the line and was quickly recycled to Rebecca Pennell to claim Skins’ first try of the game.
The second score came shortly afterwards, again with a backs move from a solid scrum on the Derry 22 metre line. The ball found Leanne Hall who dummied the Derry winger and was just held short of the line with a determined cover tackle, again good support and ball recycling allowed Noreen Nethercott to cross the line immediately afterwards.
It really was a tale of two halves and the 31-13 scoreline is a harsh reflection on a young Skins side who tenaciously rallied back after a rampant first 30 minutes from the home side. Ruth McKeown, Katie Boles and Rebecca Pennell all made their senior debut and it was evident the future could be bright for the ladies with continued experience and some more numbers on the training park. Training continues Tuesday and Thursday at 6.30pm.