||15 - 5
Coleraine 1st XV 15
Enniskillen 1st XV 5
Enniskillen 1st XV’s poor run of results continued as they failed to acquire points from their long trip to Coleraine last Saturday, missed opportunities and a costly intercept try leaving skins with nothing to take home from an up and down performance.
Skins started well with Gareth McCoy taking the restart and some strong carries from the pack making headway while the back line looked threatening. James Ferguson at outside centre tested the Coleraine defence ably supported by wingers Balmer and Millar and Finlay coming into the line from full back. Skins had a lot of the early territory now and had Coleraine under pressure. The home side began to give away penalties as Skins played a lot of good rugby on their 22’ but two early kicks for points drifted wide and let them off the hook. Additionally a shaky set piece made it difficult to convert opportunities. A maul set up near the Coleraine try line broke down into pick and go’s before Skins were eventually turned over, ending a period of attack where the visitors should crucially have came away with points. An early penalty in favour of a strong Coleraine scrum then allowed them to work their way into the Skins half.
Enniskillen’s defence looked more physical and organised than in previous encounters and they shut down the home side well but with the line out malfunctioning and the scrum under pressure it was difficult for Skins to clear their lines and they spent too much time deep in their own half. A break from the Coleraine scrum half put them in a dangerous position and repeated pick and go’s had them over the line for the first score, unconverted to go 5-0 up.
Continued time spent in the wrong areas of the pitch put Skins under more pressure and led to a penalty which put the home side 8-0 up going into half time. An injury to threatening winger Matthew Balmer also forced a reshuffle.
The second half started well as the back line continued to look dangerous out wide. Coleraine were keen to kick but Ashley Finlay at full back punished them consistently with a well directed counter attack. Skins finally got on the scoreboard after a period of pressure in the Coleraine half as the ball went wide to Finlay who put a nicely weighted grubber kick through for Ferguson, now on the wing, to hop on for Skins’ first try, unconverted to trail 8-5.
Skins rallied now in search of further points but were careless at times and lacked structure, the work off the ball slackened somewhat and the defensive pressure lacked it’s former tenacity. An injury to Matthew Dane now forced Ferguson to move once again to scrum half. The pack carried aggressively but it was all fairly narrow into contact and didn’t have the desired effect. The backs were still moving the ball well through Lendrum at out half but disaster struck when Skins spotted space out wide and as they moved the ball the Coleraine winger took a fatal risk that paid off in the home side’s favour, coming out of the line for an intercept and running the length of the pitch for a converted score to go 15-5 up. This took a lot of steam out of Skins’ efforts and, while they never let Coleraine add to their tally, they struggled to break the home side’s defence down for the rest of the fixture.
It’s been a poor few months for Enniskillen and they sit in a dangerous position in the league table. However, a week off and a local derby hosting Clogher on December 16th may be just what Skins need to reignite the side and turn things around in the new year.