|Monaghan U14 Boys
||39 - 29
||Enniskillen U14 Boys
Monaghan U14 Boys 39
Enniskillen U14 Boys 29
Enniskillen Under 14s took a depleted side down to Monaghan last Saturday, suffering multiple absences due to injuries and ski trips. However, the true spirit of youth rugby was displayed by the Monaghan coaches who agreed to match numbers. From the first whistle it was clear that Skins were up for the game with strong runs from captain Smyth, second row Dolan, and Caoilte Farry playing his first game at no. 8. However the home side matched the intensity with their own pack and after five minutes, from a ruck on the edge of the Skins 22, the opposition powered over for the first score, unconverted to lead 5-0.
This pattern was repeated several times and after 15 minutes the Enniskillen lads found themselves 22 down with their mood as miserable as the inclement whether and needing some inspiration. This came when young Farry picked up from a Skins scrum 30 meters out and, with several Monaghan players hanging on to him, he scored an excellent try. With the last play of the half the home team scored again and the half time score was 27-5, a large mountain for the side to climb.
The Skins coaches were joined by several of the Monaghan management during the interval to give the lads some encouragement which shows the spirit in which this game was played. The second half was probably the best thirty minutes of rugby the team have produced this season with a prevalent sense of belief and implementing the game plan well. From the very start they pushed forward and a strong run from second row Dolan broke the home defence with a great offload allowing Farry to pull back 5 points, with his conversion just going wide from a difficult angle. The intensity was clearly illustrated by scrum half Adam Johnston who was harrying his opposite number and forced several errors allowing the pack to again advance into the home 22. Captain Smyth along with his front row partners Josh Milligan and Morgan Leonard really got stuck in and secured quick ball which Johnston fed to centre Sam Mckenzie for his first try of the game, expertly drilled over by Farry to bring the deficit to just 5 points at 22 to 17. The home team then had a purple patch with two scores extending their advantage to 12 points. A response came following several turn overs and then carries from Gavin Hamilton, Michael Fee and Keilan Dolan who gave good ball to outhalf Conleth Hill, growing in confidence throughout the season and showing great maturity in this pivotal position. This allowed Caoilte Farry to break into the 22 and drive to the line only to be pushed into touch just short. From the resulting line out Dolan stole the ball and offloaded to Farry who scored his hat trick, then converted to bring the score line to 34 to 24. The last five minutes saw Monaghan add another unconverted score and then break away from their own half to almost add a further score, however, they did not reckon on man of the match Farry who tracked back forty yards to tackle the flying Monaghan centre, allowing Dolan to jackal the ball and set up a counter attack a full 70 yards from the Monaghan line; runs from Sam Mckenzie, Conleth HIll and Adam Smyth brought the Skins players into Monaghans 22’ and, from the resulting ruck, Scum half Johnston found young Farry who’s work had started the move only minutes earlier and he wasn’t to be denied his forth and best try of the day leaving the final score 39 to 29. The Enniskillen coaches would like to acknowledge the attitude of the Monaghan players and management for playing the fixture in the true spirit of Youth Rugby and providing an opportunity to enjoy what was an brilliant game. It was an excellent experience for this young, developing side who continue to grow and yet managed to outscore a well drilled, experienced side by 24 points to 12 in the second half performance.