CIYMS 1XV 3
Enniskillen 1XV 37
Enniskillen 1st XV returned from Belfast yet again last Saturday with another win, executing a dominant 3-37 win over league opponents CIYMS.
For 28 minutes both teams looked like they might win if they could keep the ball long enough and maintain possession, with both attempting to play running rugby on a breezy day in Belmont. Enniskillen playing with the wind fielded the kick off and ran straight back at a startled CIYMS almost like they weren’t expecting the counter of a threatening Finlay, Parke and O’Shea back three.
CI had to snap into defensive mode sharpish as Skins started at a hectic pace, securing yards through carries from Buchanan and Beatty in the pack. The home side did well to keep the visitors from scoring, holding Warrington up as Skins crossed the line with an onslaught of carries from the pack, and again stopping a surge from Him Manuel just short of the line. They remained in the CI half for long periods as the home team struggled to escape into opposition territory. Eventually as the half hour approached CI infringed on their own 22 and Skins' vocal scrum half, Nick Finlay kicked the penalty, the impasse finally shattered.
Seven minutes later Skins had their best move of the half. With a devastating midfield scrum from Warrington, Cathcart and Beatty, and CI’s defence spread across the width of the field the ball was quickly moved through the hands with slick precision for right wing Ashley Finlay who rounded CI’s last defender to go over for the first try. Simple conversion by Nick Finlay added the extra points. 10-0.
CI responded positively and finally got some play in the visitors half, requiring some scramble defence from Enniskillen. Their reward was a penalty and the home side got on the scoreboard with 3 points. At this point it looked game on but then just before half time Enniskillen set up an attacking line out 5m out and Kennedy, who was solid in the air all day, set up a big driving maul which was then recycled for a series of carries, Jack Rutledge crossing the line, again converted to push Skins' lead to 17-3 at the break. The second half was not pretty if you were wearing black and white.
Repeated errors from the home side under relentless pressure from the opposition and a well marshalled defence with James Ferguson returning at 13, allowed Enniskillen to establish good field position which they did not squander. Penalty, kick to the corner, and another cleanly won line out was followed by a long range drive over for a try with loose head prop Gavin Warrington steamrolling defenders for another score. It must have felt like deja vu for the crowd as this pattern was repeated with the only exception Enniskillen shifting the ball out to the wing to get their 4th try, Ashley Finlay picking up his second of the day to secure the bonus point.
Bonus point in the bag Enniskillen went on the rampage with surging runs from flanker Jack Harte, adding insult to injury with a final try, Harte breaking off the back of another big scrum and superbly offloading in the tackle to gift his trail runner Jamie Kelly an easy touch down. Finlay finished this encounter with the conversion.
Final score 37-3 to Enniskillen who, as well as being the dominant side, deserve more credit for a ruthless and unflinching 80 minute performance right up to the final whistle. Skins look well placed to give the visiting Instonians a lot to think about as they come to Mullaghmeen this Saturday.