Minor league Premier
Ballymoney 4’s 10 Enniskillen 3’s 10
Enniskillen’s mighty 3’s secured the Ravenhill Cup on Saturday with a display which was more dominant than the scoreline suggests. Having recently played their opponents only 2 weeks ago, the Skins men knew the challenge which lay ahead of them. The match was played in a perfect spring afternoon with a slight breeze which Enniskillen faced in the first half.
Once the Enniskillen pack started to get on top of their much changed opponents, play gradually moved closer to the Ballymoney try line. A solid set piece and the accurate boot of Wilkinson kept the pressure on but the final pass always seemed to go to ground or knocked forward. Centres Magwood and Jamie Gibson were making good ground with ball in hand assisted by wing forwards Roofe and Miller. The Skins second row pairing of Willis and Elliott also carried ball very well, taking the fight to the opposition at every opportunity. Despite most of the territory Skins could not get a score on the board, and with several decisions that on another day would have merited a yellow card, Enniskillen feared this was going to be a day to forget.
With the game scoreless at half time, the second period started again with Skins on top. But a loose ball in midfield seen the ballymoney full back pick up the play and race for the Skins try line at an alarming rate. Some good covering tackles kept the home attack at bay but finally Ballymoney opened the scoring with a try in the corner. The kick was missed.
Skins kept going though, a solid set piece with Adam Breen, Beatty, McKane, Tummon and Fitzpatrick had Skins still on the front foot, and any clearance from the home team was returned with interest from the Enniskillen back three of Henderson, Cunningham and Jack Breen. Finally after a scrum inside the ballymoney 22, several pick and goes marshalled by scrum half Henshaw seen Duncan crash over the line from 5 metres. Wilkinson added the conversion to see Enniskillen lead 7-5 with 20 minutes to play. Again the Skins pack were dominant. Play was in the home 22, with another infringement, Enniskillen were awarded a penalty in front of the posts which Wilkinson again kicked to leave the Skins men 10-5 up with 8 minutes to play.
Skins tried running the clock down at any chance, but after the match official signalled the last play, a ballymoney counter attack seen their dangerous full back again make a lot of ground. Several plays later and the ballymoney winger scored in the corner to bring the match level with the conversion kick to come. But much to the relief of the visitors the Ballymoney out half screwed the conversion wide which meant the game ended in a draw, which was enough to make Enniskillen 3rd XV league champions with 1 game to play. A great reward for the team and manager Trevor Whittaker for what has been a very frustrating season with cry offs and injuries.