||15 - 14
Enniskillen 3XV 15
Portadown 4XV 14
Enniskillen 3rd XV progressed to the semi finals of the McCambley cup last Saturday afternoon after coming from behind to win by the narrowest of margins against a strong travelling Portadown team.
It was Portadown who started the stronger; quick recycling and strong ball carrying from the forwards coupled with some slow, disorganised defending allowed them under the posts for a converted try. Some loose kicking and a poor line chase added pressure on a skins team struggling for possession and cohesion. To confound matters an innocuous trip by Rea Armstrong earned him a yellow card, and as he was summoned back on captain Alan Wilkinson replaced him in the bin following a high tackle. However, despite playing twenty minutes with fourteen men the Enniskillen men started gaining some control and, through steady pressure, pack leader Michael Cadden was able to crash over. Although Chris McVitty missed the conversion, he later slotted a penalty over to give skins an 8-7 lead. Portadown weren't rolling over and went on the attack yet again, a slipped tackle allowing their winger to glide in under the posts for their second converted try, leaving it a justifiable 14-8 in the visitors’ favour going into the second half. It was Enniskillen who started the brighter in the second half, simplifying their offensive game and organising their defence, allowing them to gain dominance. Although they were let off the hook, as Portadown missed a straightforward penalty in one of their few second half chances, Enniskillen never looked out of control. After some good territory and pressure the referee brought Enniskillen back for a penalty advantage under the posts, and rather than take the easy three points McVitty took the quick tap and two good passes later James Cunningham used his pace to round his man for skins’ second try. McVitty converted to make it 15-14 with 15 minutes left to play. However, steady counterattacking play from Keith Hurst at fullback, well supported by Duracell flanker Joel Mullholland, kept Portadown in their own half. When the pressure did mount in the last 5 minutes, it was great backline defence from wing Nathan Rutledge, Wilkinson and his centre partner Nathan Richmond, on his first appearance since breaking his back last year, and last minute 15th man 'Spud' Murphy from the pack, that held Portadown out to the final whistle. A very tough contest in the semi-final awaits and all are hoping for a home draw on the 11th March to get as much support on the touchline as possible.