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Skins played their third game of the season at home to Cavan last weekend on a wet and windy Sunday afternoon that both teams found challenging, with numerous handling errors disrupting the run of play. It was a physical encounter between the two forward packs with Enniskillen showing marked improvement at the set piece, starting well and holding their own against a strong, experienced Cavan pack in the scrum, at one point even winning the ball against the head; line outs too were much improved despite the conditions. The majority of play was restricted mostly within the respective 22’s, with both teams struggling to break the defensive line. Leanne hall, the coach’s player of the match, distributed well at the back of rucks despite the lack of clean ball.
Sarah Armstrong made her mark on her debut at openside flanker, catching clean ball in the line outs and crashing up a number of good forward carries. Etna Flanagan proved to be a constant thorn in Cavan's defence, exhibiting her typically wicked step and shrugging off tackles, gaining crucial ground when Enniskillen were pinned in their own 22.
The first half was blown up much to the relief of both teams after a scrappy 40 minutes consisting mostly of a short range forwards battle and handling errors stifling any attempts at expansive play.
The second half produced a bit more creative play from both teams. Cavan worked the ball well out to the wing but, once again, good defensive play saw Skins bundling them into touch. With Cavan upping their game and making ground into the Enniskillen half, the introduction into the back line of Raquel Gonzales provided the Cavan girls a severe Spanish welcome with a huge crunching tackle stopping the Cavan momentum dead, leaving Skins on the front foot after a period of attack from the visitors in the Skins 22. The home side, however, failed to turn over Cavan possession to implement an exit strategy and the pressure eventually wrought rewards as good hands saw quick ball shipped out to the wing for a well deserved try, unconverted to leave the visitors 5-0 up.
With 10 minutes left on the clock, the Skins girls knew it was now or never. Awesome composure and intensity from the entire team paid off to regain possession; a hard press from the restart and tenacious tackling from number eight Leona Connelly forced a Cavan knock on for a Skins put in at the scrum on the opposition 22. An excellent period of attacking pressure and solid carries from Ashling Maguire and Sarah Teague rewarded the home side with another scrum, this time only 5 metres from the try line. A tight scrum gave crucial clean ball for the backs who showed great awareness to create an overlap and exploit the blindside, with simple hands putting Rebecca Pennell over the line to bring the home side level with only minutes on the clock. The difficult conversion fell just short to leave a fairly justified end to the fixture at 5-5.
Enniskillen Ladies would like to thank their coaches James and Rodney for their continued time, effort and expertise. Training continues at 6.30pm Tuesday & Thursday as the ladies look to this Sunday’s game away to Malone, new players always welcome. Find Us On Facebook @EnniskillenLadiesRugby.