|Enniskillen 1st XV (Friendly)
||40 - 5
||Ballymoney 1st XV
Report from 1st XV Friendly vs Ballymoney
Enniskillen put in a convincing 40-5 win last Saturday in the first of their pre season friendlies as they hosted Ballymoney at a sunny Mullaghmeen. The game was expectedly scrappy at this early stage of the season and it took some time for the home side to grind down the resilient Ballymoney. Eventually the forwards settled into the game and a dominant scrummaging performance from Ferguson, Clarke and Beatty gave the home side a platform to build from. Ashley Finlay carved through the line for an early score from a switch with Connor Keys to start the scoring. A kick downfield from Ballymoney shortly afterwards was fumbled and the visitors kicked through and grounded to stay in touching distance with the home side. Skins put the error behind them and built pressure once again, using the line out well through Holden and Parke to feed the backs. Finlay got his second try during this period from a well timed line off Michael Law at centre.
The forwards settled into their structure slightly better now and staged some effective carries off 9 and 10 with Jamie Johnston gaining some good yards. Debutant Tyler Millar scored a memorable first try, scoring from 40 metres out down the left wing and powering through two or three defenders to touch down under the posts. After some key assists Connor Keys got on the scoreboard himself, breaking through the middle from inside his own half only to be tackled short, and reclaiming again after a couple of phases to drive over the line for the fourth try.
The second half was slightly more frantic as the two teams match fitness at this early stage of the season was tested. Ballymoney had good periods of play where they threatened the Skins line but the defence was solid and a turn over from David Taylor ended the Ballymoney pressure. Paddy McCleery picked up a score shortly afterwards, playing out of position at centre, spinning through a tackle on the 22 and stepping the Ballymoney fullback to score under the posts. Matthew McCabe ended the scoring as he collected an overthrow at the back of the line out just inside the 22 and dodged two tacklers to score in the corner in the dying minutes of the game.
The fixture served its purpose well for Skins in the buildup to the new season as a few new, young faces stepped into the senior fold and looked very capable throughout. Matty Dane, Josh Kyle and Tyler Millar all had solid performances in the back line while Morgan Bruce in the back row showed his ability in open play. The 1st XV now look to Ballina at home this Saturday at 2.30pm in their final friendly before the league kicks off August 26th away to Portadown.