Enniskillen 1st XV 15 Cooke 1st XV 11.

Enniskillen overcame a poor start to grind out a hard fought league win over Cooke at Mullaghmeen on Saturday.
And it is a win that should give them confidence ahead of this weekend’s All Ireland Junior Cup quarter-final game against Limerick side Newcastle West.
Skins coach Willie Gibson was disappointed with his side’s first half display on Saturday but pleased with the victory.
“We were poor in the first half but we got it together in the second half. For us the positive thing to come out of the game was getting the win,” he said.
And he is looking forward to the Newcastle West encounter this Saturday which is the first time the men’s side will have played an All Ireland Cup match.
“We have nothing to lose and we will go out and enjoy it. It’s the first time for the men to have All Ireland rugby so it’s a big day for the club and hopefully we can go out and produce a performance,” he added.
On Saturday, Skins were sluggish in the early stages and with the defence lacklustre, Cooke made inroads into the Enniskillen half all too easily. Then frustration seemed to kick in and Skins started to concede penalties for high tackles and creeping offside at the ruck, leaving them further pinned back in their own half, Cooke converting these opportunities well with an early penalty sailing through the posts to take a 3-0 lead.
Handing all the territory to Cooke in these conditions proved to be costly as shortly afterwards the opposition centre broke the line on the 22’ and offloaded to the out half who crossed for a try, unconverted to go 8-0 up with the Skins support looking uncomfortable. Another penalty at the break down allowed Cooke to extend their lead and they pushed ahead 11-0.
Finally some possession came the home side’s way towards the end of the first half and a supremely dominant scrum through front rowers McKane, Ferguson, Fox and Cathcart helped Skins to settle their heads after a frantic half hour. Taking two opposition feeds against the head Skins worked their way deep into the Cooke half and wore the defence down with some short range carries before another rampant scrum allowed Kaine Holden to cross the line, putting Skins on the scoreboard trailing 5-11 into the end of the half.
Skins carried their improved attitude into the second half and made life difficult for the visitors. The Skins line out functioned well through Grayson Donnelly and Gavin Parke while they tormented the Cooke throw and starved the visitors of possession.
The scrum continued to cause problems for Cooke, camped on their own five metre line for an extended period with repeated penalties and the possibility of a card or a penalty try surely looming, before eventually Holden took matters out of the referee’s hands and powered over the line from the back of the scrum for his second try, unconverted to bring the scoreline to 10-11. 
Cooke tried to set up in the Skins half from the restart but the home side was determined now and, after a Cooke penalty at the breakdown, Adam Lendrum pinned the visitors back into their own half with a huge kick to touch. The maul broke down into repeated short range carries and an error out wide resulted in another scrummaging bout. With another steal against the head Holden took the ball at the back of the scrum 10 metres out and fed James Ferguson on the wing who sprinted in for a try to take the lead, 15-11. 
The final 15 minutes was a tense affair for Enniskillen as Cooke tried to re-establish the lead and worked their way inside the Skins 22’. A huge defensive effort came from all involved, back rowers Gareth McCoy, Alex Gormley and Jamie Johnston putting in an incredibly physical display to keep the attackers out metres from the line while centre partnership Mark O’Shea and Michael Law did well to suppress a pacy Cooke back line. Another penalty at the scrum in the last play of the game put the contest to bed as Lendrum kicked it out for the final whistle.
It was a rusty start from Enniskillen and more clinical 80 minute performances will be needed to continue to rise through the ranks in this very competitive league. That being said, it was a good result against a strong side and impressive perseverance after giving themselves a mountain to climb following 30 lacklustre minutes.