Enniskillen Royal Grammar’s Schools’ Cup ambitions were ended at the quarter-final stage on Saturday when they went down to favourites Wallace High School 19-10 in Belfast.
ERGS coach Ashley Finlay felt that it was a contest that was decided by small margins.
“The performance on Saturday, we couldn’t really have asked for anything more. 
“The physicality levels, determination, they really left everything on the pitch and it just comes down to the small margins in big games like that there and Wallace with a wee bit more of an experienced team maybe dealt with that a bit better,” he said.
“We had prepared really well for the game and I don’t think the away game was a factor. We had a big support up and probably outnumbered the Wallace crowd and they were very vocal and really helped the boys. 
“There was a few moments in the match that were turning points and we could have dealt better with them and they maybe gave Wallace a foothold but we definitely matched them for large parts of the game.”
Wallace had got off to a bright start as they scored an early try but ERGS spent the remainder of the half in the Wallace half looking for a try of their own. The home defence though was exceptional on the day.
“Wallace scored a try in the first two minutes but for the majority of the half we were camped in their half and in their 22 but credit to Wallace their defence was incredible, they kept us out. 
“We went phase after phase after phase but we couldn’t break through for that score. 
“Just on the half time whistle we maybe should have got over for a score which would have put a different complexion on the second half but they were resolute and held us out,” said Finlay.
And Wallace went on to push their lead out at the start of the second half as they ran in two tries to move into a 19-0 lead.
ERGS never gave up though and two tries from the impressive Callum Smyton closed the gap but they had just left themselves too big a mountain to climb as Wallace saw out the game to secure the win.
“The start of the second half was a similar story to the first half in that we let them in for avoidable scores at the start of the half and that left it 19-0. 
“We had said at half time that if we could hold them out, we knew we were the fitter team as we had worked incredibly hard on our physical levels and it showed in the end as we scored two late tries but we had just left ourselves too much to do. Time ran out for us,” added Finlay.
He has though been delighted with the effort of the players throughout the season.
“I couldn’t fault the boys on their effort all season, they have been exceptional and I’m looking forward to getting going next year already.”
And he feels that as a school they are making positive strides forward.
We have shown progression over the last few years and it would be nice to get reward for that by taking that step forward and getting into the semi-final. 
In terms of the school, there is depth around all of the teams and they have shown great promise this year and we are looking to continue with that development.
“We will target one better next year with the senior boys while our Medallion are still going in their Plate competition, they play Methody this Saturday which is a great opportunity for them to bring home some silverware. 
“Then you have the U13 team and U14 teams who have been very promising so it is all looking very good,” he concluded.