Enniskillen 3XV v Ballymoney 4XV Fixture - Feb 9, 2019

Team Score Pts
Enniskillen 3XV 31 - 5 Ballymoney 4XV

Match Report

Enniskillen 3XV    31    
Ballymoney 4XV    5

Skins 3rd XV welcomed joint league toppers Ballymoney to a tranquil mullaghmeen last Saturday under blue skies after storm ERIC had passed through. Skins knew with a tough finish to the the league ahead maximum points at home would be necessary to keep the Ravenhill cup hopes alive. From kick off the big Enniskillen pack laid their intentions out by returning ball through carries by Willis, Baker and president Grey on a rare Saturday off from allickadoing. However, the experienced Ballymoney team weren't rolling over easily, only after several more carries up front was an overlap created to allow wing Henderson to use his power and pace to round the 'Money defence and score under the posts. Hurst added a penalty kick soon after but it was a frustrating arm wrestle in which skins couldn't quite make the final break needed. Finally a lineout in the corner allowed the dependable Elliott to gather from Hooker Wright and set up a driving maul, with the 'stag' Beatty peeling off the back to dive over from 2 yards, Hursts reliable boot opening up a 17-0 gap at halftime. The second half was much of the same, but with McCoy temporarily leaving the pitch, makeshift fullback Kelly, who'd done a super job, resumed his lock forward role with evergreen Haire coming on at fullback. Centre Gibson had been making inroads all day, but it was his centre partner Wilkinson who coolly added the third try after another lineout in the Ballymoney 22 was accurately improvised, followed by an explosive charge from McCoy who'd returned to the field after the unfortunate loss of hooker Wright to injury. This allowed scrum half Henshall to recycle quickly and a perfectly timed pop pass from Hurst sent Wilkinson through a gap and under the posts. Just when the team had secured the win and should have been focusing on the bonus try a lapse in concentration and some tired defence allowed Ballymoney in the corner after a rare attack. A few stern words from Captain Breen revved the players up for a final push, it was man of the match contender scrum half Henshall who, after some relentless pressure on the the Ballymoney line, dived for the foot of the posts and scored the well deserved fourth try. Indeed a fifth was harshly pulled back for what the ref deemed a forward pass in contrast to the thoughts of the sideline support. Nonetheless it was a bonus point win over tough rivals to give skins a five point lead in the table, an objective achieved before their home cup quarter final to Ards this Saturday. A special mention must also go to Cunningham who returned to the pitch for the first time  after a serious injury at the end of last season.