|Enniskillen Ladies 1st XV
||31 - 5
||Ballyshannon Ladies 1st XV
Skins hosted Ballyshannon ladies last Thursday evening under the floodlights at Mullaghmeen in ideal rugby conditions. Ballyshannon kicked the game off and immediately put Enniskillen under pressure. Skins were trying to play out of their half, but made some basic errors, which they were heavily penalised for. With the initial penalties and errors going against Skins it took some physical defence from Clare McMorrow and Clare Brogan to halt the Ballyshannon attacks.
After 10 minutes of defence Skins turned over the ball and quickly moved it out to the wing where McMorrow showed her pace and evasion skills to score a try from 70 metres, placing the ball right under the posts and allowing an easy conversion from Shauna Murphy.
From the restart the ball was taken and driven forward to be recycled and moved to Noreen Nethercott, who kicked in behind the Ballyshannon defence. From this point, Skins started to play the rugby they strive to play. They went through numerous phases of play and were well directed by Murphy playing at 10. She kept the ball moving across Skins new centre combination, Nethercott and McMorrow, which caused immense headaches for the Ballyshannon defence. With all the pressure on the Ballyshannon defence it seemed like Enniskillen would score a number of tries. However, to their credit, Ballyshannon held out with some resolute defence until just before halftime when Nethercott scored her first try of the game. The halftime score was 14 - 0.
The main focus of the halftime team chat was to reduce the number of penalties and to keep the game plan going. However, from the restart Skins seemed to throw the plan out the door, as the penalty count kept going up. Within 5 minutes and numerous penalties against Skins, Ballyshannon were to get their only try of the match. But from this point on, Ballyshannon never posed any real threat to the Enniskillen try line.
Enniskillen finally woke up and got on the attack by putting numerous phases of play together. Leona Hallett was putting in her usual hi octane work rate around the pitch and made her presence felt. She was well supported by her back row colleagues Shauna McMorrow and Helen Carleton.
From a scrum in the Enniskillen half, Skins moved the ball from one side of the pitch to the other, with some great passing and finished with a well-deserved try in the right hand corner scored by Shauna Murphy. From the restart Skins were organised and constructive in their work and moved the ball into the Ballyshannon half. At this point of the game, the Enniskillen scrum became an unreliable source of possession and Ballyshannon were able to use it to their advantage to get out of trouble. Midway through the second half Skins scored their forth try of the match, with probably one of the best displays of teamwork and skill the girls have put together so far this season.
Play started just inside the Enniskillen half with a Ballyshannon knock on. Skins jumped on the loose ball and moved it out towards the wing. A dodgy pass seemed to stop momentum but Nethercott used her experience to keep possession. The ball was moved to Louise Thompson who released to Alana McCaffrey. It was carried on by Sarah Teague and Hallett before being passed along the backline. It was then up to new girl Erica Porter to evade a number of tackles with some fancy footwork before sliding across the line for her first Skins try. With settled heads from the restart, Skins were composed and constructive in their play and were back on the attack. With the hard work done, they dominated play and finished off another fantastic phase of play with forwards and backs interlinking to score the final try of the game through Nethercott, with the game ending 31-5.
By the end of the game, it was clear that the Skins ladies will need to reduce the number of penalties they give away in the next few games, if league honours are to be gained. However, they can be very happy overall in this performance against a Ballyshannon team that came to play and certainly not just make up the numbers. As the season is progressing new players Thompson, Porter and Dougherty are starting to find their feet and are showing some glimpses of excellence. The brand new 10,12,13 combination at times showed real class in attack and power in defence. Also, the Skins pack brought a real hard edge and work ethic throughout the game with Hallett, Brogan, Carleton, McMorrow, and Teague - along with the experienced front row prop Sarah Evans joining us for her fist cap -leading by example.
For further updates on games, please check out our website and Facebook page below. Training continues Tuesdays at 6.30pm and Thursdays at 8pm at Mullaghmeen and all new girls are welcome.
Enniskillen Rugby Club is hosting an evening of ‘Women in Sport’ in partnership with Fermanagh Mallards LFC this Friday 7 November 2014 at 6.30pm and we would welcome everyone to join us in an evening of promoting women’s sport across Fermanagh.