Cooke 1st XV 15 Enniskillen 1st XV 7

Enniskillen 1st XV coach Willie Gibson admitted that mistakes proved costly as his side slipped to a 15-7 defeat to Cooke last Saturday.
Skins enjoyed sustained periods of dominance in the game but they failed to make that count on the scoreboard and five successful penalty kicks by Cooke ultimately proved decisive as the home side secured the win.
“Silly mistakes and penalties cost us on the day,” said Gibson. “It is always difficult away to Cooke but we had ten minutes in the second half when we were dominating but we couldn’t get over the line and you have to make those periods count by scoring tries.”
The result leaves Skins third from bottom of the table with three games to go but crucially they have two games against the two sides below them, Coleraine and Clogher Valley, to come as well as a game against Ballyclare.
“We’ve three games to go now and we have to look at getting points from them. If we play like we can then we will be fine,” he said.
On Saturday, Cooke looked dangerous in the the first few minutes, particularly the back three who were keen to run everything at the visitors. 
The Skins defence worked very hard in the early stages and, despite the pressure, looked well able to keep Cooke from crossing the try line. The first penalty under pressure gave the home side a kickable shot at goal and they took a 3-0 lead.
Skins still looked confident with the set piece functioning well: despite an early penalty at the scrum, props Ferguson and Parke now had things under control and the line out functioned well through jumpers Donnelly, Holden and Parke. 
Skins perhaps lacked direct running as they sought to move the ball wide prematurely at times, leading to some sideways shuffling and loose passing.
Despite looking more comfortable with the ball, discipline from Skins was again a factor and another kickable penalty allowed the clinical Cooke place kicker to put the home side up 6-0.
Skins’ put some better phases together now and worked their way into the Cooke half, finally claiming a penalty of their own at the breakdown but the attempt fell short. 
A break from the home side brought them into the Skins half where they carried hard at the resolute Enniskillen defence. Good work from Mark O’Shea held up a potential try and Skins survived to exit once again.
Skins looked formidable with ball in hand, good hands from Connor Keys at outside centre released James Ferguson on the wing for some good yards made and Ashley Finlay was also breaking the line from full back with ease. 
Pressure yielded another penalty in the Cooke half that went unconverted as James Ferguson’s kick sailed wide going into the end of the first half.
The second half was mostly played in the middle of the park as the two forward packs traded blows. 
Penalties for creeping off side and slowing down the ruck had Skins endure two penalties as the Cooke place kicker never failed to punish the visitors. 
The home side also gave away their fair share of penalties and were rewarded a yellow card for repeated offences, but Skins failed to capitalise, letting the home side off on their own line as they were stripped off the ball following a scrum.
Skins finally exerted some pressure as the pack showed their ability with ball in hand; Holden, Buchanan and Johnston unleashed some powerful carries on the Cooke forward pack and began some excellent phases of narrow carries before James Ferguson, now slotted into scrum half, rounded a defender and scored under the posts to bring the score to 12-7, a potentially important bonus point if nothing more.
Skins had the desire to play and were clearly keen to get hold of the ball and go in search of a win, but the impatience was evident and led to further indiscipline. 
A penalty in midfield for offside had them pinned back into their own corner defending a maul, which they admirably managed to do with some determined defence. 
A penalty to Cooke for a high tackle then just outside the Skins 22’ as they continued to repel the attack had them 15-7 down as the kick sailed over, leaving them with nothing to show for their efforts as the full time whistle blew.
Enniskillen will be disappointed with the result as the effort and potential was evident, if lacking discipline and tact. This weekend they head to Ballynahinch 2XV in the conference before refocussing on three crucial league fixtures.