|Strabane 2nd XV
||0 - 39
||Enniskillen 3rd XV
Strabane 2nd XV 0
Enniskillen 3rd XV 39
Enniskillen 3rd XV regained top spot in their league in their final fixture with a convincing win over Strabane on Saturday, travelling with renewed confidence after a hard fought win away to Cookstown the previous week. Already secured was a top two finish in the regional league and a subsequent place in the provincial league for the Ravenhill Cup commencing in January. This was a prime opportunity, after a stop start season due to several teams not travelling to Enniskillen, to build in a performance fitting to the names on the team sheet. Seven tries and a clean sheet didn't come easy and portrayed the first signs of a team starting to gel in both defence and attack.
The game didn't always flow how Enniskillen would have liked; scrappy breakdowns, and a referee seemingly determined to play outhalf, often intercepting the scrumhalf pass at the base of rucks, contributed to this.
Early on Enniskillen applied severe pressure; good carries from the pack brought play close to the Strabane try line, then swift hands back across allowed the ever present openside Gordie Gregg to open the scoring with a simple run in. In almost a carbon copy soon after it was centre Alan Wilkinson who crossed for his first try.
Strabane didn't roll over and started to slowly exert pressure via line outs and mauls as they came within five meters of the Enniskillen line. However they met resilient defence as Adi Breen drove a would be scorer back over the line and Ross Duncan turned over ball at the resultant ruck, allowing the faithful boots of Chris McVitty and Keith Hurst to relieve the pressure with accurate kicking deep into the opposition 22’ throughout.
Despite the sin binning of McVitty the final blow to Strabane's chances came at the end of the first half when man of the match Michael Cadden stole the ball at a lose breakdown and raced in from the 22’ to leave the halftime score 15-0. The second half saw Skins forced to reshuffle positions due to injuries of the exciting new talent at fullback and wing, Matthew McVitty and Nathan Rutledge. However, once they found their rhythm the scoring began again. Initial direct hard running from a counter by Richard Henderson finished with him dragging the final two tacklers over the line to score, converted by Daniel Allister. A clever cross field kick shortly after saw replacement centre Michel Law finish in the corner.
Wilkinson scored his second with what's becoming his trademark this season, an intercept from his own half, and good speed and stamina from the old man to reach the line first.
Law added his second and Skins’ final try with a strong, winding finish soon after; and, with none of the three out half kickers harbouring a boot between them, stalwart lock Richie Grey stepped up to slot the conversion over as it should be done. Encouragingly, captain Stephen Tummon turned over possession and made a 30 yard break at the end, showing the spirit expected from the team. Also debutant prop Darren Baker got stronger throughout the game and showed much potential. Skins 3’s now eagerly await their cup draw and a welcome short break before it commences on 3rd December. They should embark on the cup confident they can progress well after some fine league results.