||10 - 26
The Under 18 team really illustrated what a great game rugby is last weekend as, although they have some undoubted star players, when it comes to playing or training it is a pleasure to watch the entire squad give 100%, whether it be a speedy winger, explosive centre or the larger players in the pack.
This was clearly shown on Saturday morning when they had to make the Journey to Virginia. With both teams having won all of their games so far in the league this was set for an exciting top table clash. The Skins players and coaches knew this was going to be a hard game to win, requiring a 100% squad effort to go home with 3 points. Virginia kicked off the game and 2 minutes in the young Skins side were 7-0 up through out half Jarlath Maguire after he kicked and chased the ball from the halfway line to score a converted try. This seemed to kick start Virginia and for the next 10 minutes the game was played in Skins’ 22, Virginia won a penalty in front of the posts and converted it to leave them trailing a mere 7-3. Virginia started moving the ball well and on the 17th minute they scored a converted try to put them 10-7 up. The young Enniskillen side couldn’t get out of their own half and Virginia were controlling the game, currently quicker to the breakdown they were able to get good quick ball but couldn’t break down the Skins defence, with front row partners David Jenkins and Rory Morris throwing themselves at every tackle to keep the score line down. The Skins coaches were relieved to hear the halftime whistle as they regrouped for a team talk before the impending next 40.
The Skins coaches made a few changes to inject some much needed energy into their team and the second half started brightly with the game played in Virginia’s own 22. The home side managed to get the ball cleared and won a scrum on the halfway line after a skins player knocked the ball on. Skins hooker Shane McGrail won the ball against the head and Skins were able to get quick ball out to Centre Tyler Millar who broke through 5 tackles and powered over the line to score a converted try and put Skins 14-10 up on the 40th minute. Disaster struck as Skins got a player red carded 2 minutes later after a harsh decision from the referee. The response was excellent from Enniskillen, however, as on the 45th minute scrum-half Josh Kyle, who was pulling the strings in the game throughout, played a great pass to centre Tyler Millar who broke through a pack of players yet again to run in his second try of the day, leaving the score 19-10 to Skins. The young Skins were controlling the game and were turning over a lot of ball at the breakdown through centre Adrian Maguire and it ironically looked like they had the extra man advantage in the contest. On the 50th minute after 16 phases of play flanker partners Eoin Cleary and Conor Maguire, who both had great games, combined when Eoin drew his defender and offloaded to Conor who powered over the line to score a converted try and put Enniskillen 26-10 up. For the next 20 minutes Skins dominated the game and carried a lot of ball through the forwards and second row Jack McKee in particular who got through a lot of work. The full time whistle was blown to confirm the Skins victory of 26-10, and both sets of players looked relieved to see the physical contest come to an end and exhaustion was evident throughout. It was a huge effort from the two sides and both the Virginia and Enniskillen players should be proud of what was a passionate and aggressive encounter.