|Cavan/Monaghan U18 Boys
||14 - 31
||Enniskillen U18 Boys
Monaghan/Cavan U18 14
Enniskillen U18 31
Enniskillen U18s got back on the league trail with an away tie against Monaghan who recently amalgamated with Cavan RFC. The home team were quickly out of the traps when, almost from the kick off, a sleepy Enniskillen team let them waltz through for the simplest of tries which was converted. This woke Skins up and they duly knuckled down to the task in hand almost immediately, with Oisin Monaghan using his physicality to get over the line to make it 7-5. In terrible slippy conditions with players hardly able to keep their feet Skins took control of the game and played all the rugby in the Monaghan half. Conditions restricted the game but intelligent rugby gained Skins a 5 metre lineout and, with a good take from Tomas Scallon, the pack mauled over the line with Niall Keenan coming up with the ball, Oisin Monaghan making it 7-12 with the conversion.
From the kick off Skins once again worked their way into the Monaghan corner with good play from backs and forwards for another 5 metre lineout and once again clinically made it another mauled try only for the referee, oddly assisted by the Monaghan coach, to disallow the score claiming the home team did not engage. This was to be the way for the remainder of the match with Monaghan not engaging in any lineout and taking away the Skins threat. Not to be outdone Enniskillen got on the score sheet again with Oisin Monaghan claiming his second try and conversion to leave the half time score 7-19.
The second half Skins were playing into what had become a significant breeze, so much so that Monaghan had rejigged their line up, bringing a big forward out to do their kicking duties, and he duly obliged with a sweet right foot keeping Skins pegged back deep in their own half. This meant that skins continually had to come from their own half every time to mount an attack and this had to be done with ball in hand as it was impossible to kick their way out in the conditions. Again some good phases of interplay with backs and forwards alike meant that gaps were being found in the Monaghan defence but scores were thrown away with several last passes not hitting their mark, or not being given at all.
From one of these phases Tomas Scallon got to stretch the legs, looking around almost in disbelief that no one put a hand on him, scoring a converted try under the posts 7-26. Monaghan were to claim the next score against the run of play and, with the referee seemingly playing advantage from a home knock on, Skins didnt retain possession from a ruck and Monaghan scored a converted try 14-26. The next 10 minutes of the match were played deep in the Skins half with the Monaghan team seeming to have raised their game, but despite all their efforts they couldn't add to their tally due to some great defensive efforts from Skins . Skins did manage to get on the score sheet with a well taken try from full back Matty Brown when a loose ball was chipped through and his pace beat the defence to get the touchdown, unconverted leaving the final score 14-31 and at that Monaghan called time on the game.
Conditions dictated the quality of this game and with that in mind Skins did very well in the 1st half trying to get forwards and backs to play running, high tempo rugby, but this was snuffed out in the 2nd half when Monaghan used the wind to keep the opposition pinned in their own half. It’s clear from this contest that when the Skins forwards are switched on and play as a unit they are virtually unstoppable, but can go missing in the backline at times. The lineout too has come on well from the side with good throwing from Luke Thompson giving the side a solid foundation. The backs, missing their regular out half, struggled when it came to relieving pressure in their own 22 but the distribution was good with wingers Jordan Anderson and Jay Maguire making some excellent outside runs, great to see as they’ve lacked possession of late. The whole side stood up for defensive duties, led mainly by Dylan Flynn in centre who had his usual high tackle count game. The U18’s will hope to bring this form into their couple of remaining league games, as well as the Ulster Cup and Nutty Krust competition in Portadown.