Grosvenor 1XV 29

Enniskillen 1XV 20

Frustration continues for Enniskillen 1st XV as another tight contest and good performance on the road to Belfast yields no return in the form of league points. Grosvenor have had a solid start to the season given their status as newly promoted and would have been favourites but Enniskillen were dominant in many facets of the game and should really have take something from the contest; discipline however was a problem once again and cost Enniskillen at times.

Enniskillen’s lineout was flawless through Carleton and Buchanan while the scrum was tilted slightly in Skin’s favour too through Warrington, Cathcart and Ferguson, gaining penalties on a couple of occasions. Altogether this gave the back line a solid foundation. Lendrum at out half used his centre pairing of Millar and Ferguson to lethal effect. Back row Gavy Parke moved into the back three due to numerous squad injuries and performed extremely well alongside right wing John Arnold, another late call up to the starting side after many years out of action.

Skins moved the ball well from the restart and big carries from Jamie Kelly and Jack Rutledge had the home side on the back foot. Line breaks through the middle from Tyler Millar at 12 gained big yards and James Ferguson was ever threatening off his shoulder. Eventually Grosvenor gave away a penalty and the boot of Lendrum put the visitors up 0-3.

Grosvenor responded with some big carries from their 8 and the backline showed their ability out wide, moving the ball well and forcing a lot from the Skins defence. Skins gave away a couple of penalties as they tried to stem the pressure and Adam Lendrum was unfortunate to receive a yellow card for a tackle that drifted high. Grosvenor used this territory and the numerical advantage well to put together a converted try shortly afterwards, Skins now trailing 7-3.

Skins remained composed and continued to assert pressure on the home side, showing good ball retention in the second quarter and not giving the opposition much to work with. Some excellent play from the back line saw the ball shifted through the hands with multiple offloads before eventually ending with full back Conor Hoy out wide who stepped through numerous tackles to finish in the corner for an excellent score, converted to go 7-10 up.

Grosvenor responded shortly afterwards, again capitalising on some lapses in defence and penalties to work their way into the Skins half and regain the lead through a big carry from their prop out wide to cross the line, now leading 15-10 at the half.

Skins continued to dominate the set piece in the second half and Grosvenor gave away plenty of penalties under pressure. Lendrum slotted one such effort to bring them back within 2 points, trailing by a mere 15-13. The Grosvenor response was lethal yet again as they made good ground in open play and ended up scoring in the corner, converted to go 22-13 up.

Skins set up camp in the Grosvenor half after the restart and penalties started to come Enniskillen’s way as they threatened the try line. Eventually it was a line out and maul that crossed the line with an opportunistic Gavin Parke joining the pushover and touching down, converted to bring the scoreline to 22-20.

The win was in sight now in the final quarter but Skins ended up pinned back in their own half once again. Some determined defence ensued but Skins with the oncoming wind struggled to exit and desperation led to penalties from the visitors, Jack Rutledge eventually seeing yellow for a breakdown offence. Eventually Grosvenor exploited some space out wide and crossed for their final score, converted to go 29-20 up.

Skins worked their way back into the Grosvenor half in the dying minutes and won a penalty for the last play of the game that unfortunately drifted wide of the posts depriving them of a bonus point.

Frustration is surely present for this spirited Skins side who continue to show grit and come so close both home and away this season, but, yet again, composure and discipline remain a hurdle as two yellow cards and a high Enniskillen penalty count were arguably the only thing giving the high flying Grosvenor side a foothold in the game despite being on their home patch.