|Enniskillen Ladies 1st XV
||27 - 8
||City of Derry Ladies 1st XV
Rosie Stewart Memorial Ulster Cup - Round Two
Enniskillen Ladies were playing in a qualifying round for the Rosie Stewart cup at the weekend against City of Derry. With Derry a league above Skins, the girls knew they had to put in a big performance and they got off to a flying start with a well worked try on the left wing from Sarah Teague, duly converted by Shauna Murphy in blowy conditions.
After a burst down the right wing was met with a wall from Derry’s defence, Skins showed excellent communication, working the ball through the hands across the field, staying calm and utilizing space to see full-back Louise slot over for a real team try.
From here Derry seemed to settle and it was to turn into a very physical game with the forwards putting in scrum after scrum, retaining the ball in the Skins half for much of the first half. Strong rucking from Derry was to put the Skins girls under pressure but they kept their heads, with a bursting run from Noreen Nethercott returning the ball back to the Derry half. Man-hands Collette McMorrow got her paws on the ball and dodged three Derry defenders before popping off to Shauna Murphy who got a well-deserved try.
However, after this a pacey Derry side returned to the Skins half and maintained pressure for the remainder of the first half right at the Skin’s try line. Whilst conceding no tries Derry managed to slot over a penalty kick to leave the score 15-3 at half time.
Derry made up for their low-scoring first half with a dynamite start to the second. With a very strong scrum they had the newly adapting Enniskillen pack struggling throughout the match, breaking away to score their only try of the game in the first 5 minutes of the second half. They maintained this pressure for a time, but repeated pacey breaks from backs Nethercott and Aoibhin Kelly brought the play back into the Derry half where it remained for the remainder of the match. Skins began to put better shape on the rucking, with Sarah Evans and Shauna McMorrow putting in excellent defensive work throughout the 80 minutes. Derry put bodies on the line in a well maintained defense, with Skins seeing little return despite repeated efforts. However, patient and wiley captain Leona Hallett bided her time, catching a looped throw from a Skins line-out to speed through a sleeping Derry side in for a long-overdue and well-won try.
Skins kept the pressure up to the end of the game, working from left to right, to try to punch the Derry defence. Repeated efforts from Skins were shut down, until scrum-half Kathryn Dane saw her chance, slicing through the Derry defence right at the last minute for the fifth and final score of the game, leaving the score 27-8.
Skins continue their unbeaten run with a game away next week against newly promoted AIL Division One club Cooke in Belfast on Sunday 1st February.