Enniskillen 1st XV 28 Dromore 1st XV 3

Enniskillen 1st XV claimed a bonus point win over visiting Dromore last weekend and in doing so moved back up to fourth place in the table.

This was a clinical showing from Skins, who showed the sort of execution and grit they’ve been lacking in recent outings.

It was a slow first half as the saturated surface disintegrated into something of a swamp below the players’ feet but the handling from both teams was generally excellent, given the conditions; Lendrum in particular set a tone that he intended to move the ball from early on and take advantage of a hungry backline.

Clever kicking from Lendrum and Finlay at 12 also created a lot of territory throughout.


A memorable individual score from Keys before the end of the first half settled the nerves for a second half performance that included scores from Buchanan and O’Shea off the back of well-worked territory gain, and a cracking chip and chase score from O’Shea to gain the bonus point.

An early breakdown penalty for Dromore had them take an early lead to go 0-3 up, but play continued mostly in the middle of the pitch, strong carries from Graham and Barrett making good ground, but it was slow going on the heavy surface.

After a period of reset scrums in midfield, Dromore went on the assault once again and were awarded another breakdown penalty, this one drifting wide much to Skins’ relief.

Dromore continued to control possession and Skins’ defensive work was pivotal in stopping them get a foothold in the game, the press led by Nick Finlay at 12, who was tenacious throughout.

Finally Skins got some ball to play with and, after a scrum penalty, Rutledge and Rooney made big inroads into the Dromore half and Finlay pinned the visitors back with a grubber kick into the corner to set up a 5 metre line out.

Enniskillen were camped in the Dromore half now for about 10 minutes, the visitors doing well to keep them out.

Eventually an attempted clearance kick landed into the arms of Mark O’Shea who offloaded to Lendrum to put Eddie Keys on a scything run through the defence, kicking over the top and collecting for an excellent score under the posts, converting his own score to go 7-3 up.

Skins threatened again in the final minutes of the half with another kick from Finlay forcing Dromore to touch down behind their line, under pressure from the chasing Skins attack, but the half ended as was.

Dromore made their way into the Skins 22 in the second half and the home side were forced to defend the big visiting pack; Warrington and Fox in the front row meeting their big runners with plenty of enthusiasm, eventually a turnover had the visitors back in their own half after another tormenting kick from Nick Finlay and a Sam Balfour chase for a 50 metre territory swing.

Off a scrum on the 22’ the ball went side to side before finding Mark O’Shea who crossed on the left wing, converted again by Eddie Keys to go 14-3 up.

Lendrum pinned Dromore back once again with a high kick from the restart and a tricky bounce for the fullback had Skins on the rampage once again.

Jack Rutledge made great yards off the back of a struggling scrum, and Matthew Dane hit a pinpoint box kick that forced the Dromore fullback to carry the ball into touch on the 5 metre line.

From the subsequent lineout, the Skins pack battered the defence on the try line before David Buchanan crossed for a score, converted to lead 21-3.

Another midfield arm wrestle ensued off the restart when Eddie Keys spotted some space in behind on the left wing, and Mark O’Shea timed his run to perfection, reaching the ball before the scrambling Dromore defence and kicking it on past the try line and winning the foot race for the bonus point score, converted to lead 28-3.

Skins pressured again in the final 10 minutes, but as conditions worsened it became difficult for either side to make an impact.

A series of scrums wound down the clock as the game ended at 28-3.


This was a real morale boost for Skins who, after suffering a couple of recent defeats due to a lack of execution, put in a masterclass of gamesmanship with a clever kicking game to gain territory, and more importantly, showed a real determination to chase the 50/50s and exploit the gains.

The 1st XV will need to keep this form going as they head to Portadown next weekend – a side who gave Skins a real battle in the home leg and seem to have improved in form since.