Enniskillen Women 57 City of Derry Women 12

Enniskillen Womens’ impressive start to the Premiership season continued on Saturday night as they made it five wins out of six games with an emphatic 57-12 victory over City of Derry.

The game, played under the lights at Mullaghmeen, brought huge anticipation as the Skins side looked to keep pushing up the Premiership table in their pursuit of league leaders, Malone.

However, an in-form City of Derry arrived full of confidence after their previous weekend’s victory over Dungannon, which was their third win of the campaign.

It was a beautiful evening for running rugby and that is exactly what the two teams provided for the large crowd.

It looked very positive for the Skins Ladies when one minute after the kick-off they received the ball back from the Derry defence, and lovely quick hands from Lucy Thompson fed Zara Flack on the wing, who made 20 yards with her skilful running.

She offloaded to a marauding Kelly Beacom, who crashed into the 22 where she made the final offload to Sophie Barrett, who went over the try line from 10 metres out under the posts. The try was converted by Farrah Cartin McCloskey to give Skins an early 7-0 advantage.

However, the Derry ladies were not here to make up the numbers and they set about a sustained period of forward carries that resulted in a try from five metres out crashing over the line. The resultant onversion was missed, but they closed the score to 7-5.

Derry seemed very uncomfortable playing out from the restart kick off, and it was another nervous clearance kick that allowed Skins Ladies to burst forward with some excellent carries in the forward pack, finished off by a lovely run by Cartin McCloskey to score under the posts.

With the conversion successful, Enniskillen moved into a 14-5 lead.

However, Derry were not willing to back down and they scored a second almost identical try which this time was converted to leave the score at 14-12.

This seemed to spark the Skins Ladies into life and a great scrum resulted in hands wide to winger Zara Flack to score in the corner, and a wonderful conversion from wide by Cartin McCloskey made it 21-12.

The last score of the half was again a Skins one.


Strong carries from the industrious Ashling Maguire and Moya Hill left Nadine Hunter just a yard short, but the reliable Sophie Barrett was there to finish off and although the conversion was missed, the home side went in at the break with a commanding 26-12 lead.

The second half seemed to start with the Skins girls in a whole different mindset and they went on to play some of their best rugby of the season so far.

It started with a fantastic carry, again by Moya and Kelly, but finished superbly on the wing by Zara Flack. Another superb conversion by Cartin McCloskey followed to stretch the lead out further, 33-12.

The backs were now flying through the Derry defence and this created a lovely gap for Rebecca Beacom to show her speed and crash over the line. Again the conversion was added to make it 40-12.

Zara Flack was really enjoying herself on the left wing and scored her hat trick try after Katie Elliott blasted through and offloaded to Lucy Thompson. Once more, Cartin McCloskey did the honours with the conversion to extend the lead.

The aforementioned Lucy Thompson marked her return from injury with a smart try after another storming carry by Captain India Daley, and a further injection of pace by full back Sophie Meeke as Enniskillen moved into a 52-12 advantage.

The last score was among the best tries of the game with a strong run by Daley, followed by a lovely offload to Ellie-May Maguire, then out to Thompson who fed Flack to use her pace again to score out wide. This was her fourth try of the game.

India Daley was named as Player of the Match.

The final score on the day was 57-12 to Enniskillen Ladies, but the scoreline doesn’t tell the immense effort and tackles that the travelling Derry Ladies made.

It was a true battle until half time.

After the break, however, the Skins Ladies simply played their best rugby of their season so far.

It was a great watch and a wonderful Saturday evening fixture under the lights.

The next game for the Skins Ladies is Saturday, November 19, when they host table toppers and last year’s All-Ireland League team, Malone RFC, at 5pm at Mullaghmeen.

This is a top of the table clash as with a Skins win they can move into second place.