Enniskillen 1st XV 52 Portadown 1st XV 5

Enniskillen won their Towns’ Cup quarter final last Saturday in impressive fashion as they tallied a 52-5 win over visitors Portadown.

One of Skins’ familiar rivals in recent years, Portadown have recently secured promotion from Qualifying Two to rejoin Skins in the Junior top tier and presented an unsure challenge.

Tight first half

After a fairly tight first half which finished 14-0, Skins let loose in the latter stages to break the half century, and play some spectacular rugby in the process.

The two sides traded blows early on and Skins showed plenty of physicality and outdid the visitors with their pace of play early on. Jack Rutledge and Matthew Beatty linked excellently with the back line while Timoney, Rooney and Carleton carried tenaciously at the visitors.

Portadown showed resilient defence but the tempo of Skins eventually opened up some space and George Foster glided through from out-half to break the deadlock, converted by Eddie Keys to go 7-0 up.

Play continued in the right area of the pitch for Skins with Keys at full-back kicking excellently.

After some carries in midfield the backline broke through and the ball found James Balfour who showed great pace to split the scrambling defence and score the second try, converted by Keys to bring the score to 14-0.

The set-piece remained solid for Skins as the lineout functioned well and the scrum was often dominant, showing a significant improvement from recent weeks.

The visitors remained in the game towards the end of the first half and their backline in particular showed ability with ball in hand, but aggressive Skins defence and errors from Portadown had the half ending 14-0 to Enniskillen.

Things opened up in the second half as Skins first used their kicking game well to pin Portadown back.

From a lineout inside the 22, the Skins forwards began to gain ground and hooker Matthew Beatty eventually crossed for a score.


Enniskillen remained composed from the restart and calmly exited once again.

The forwards continued to play well off Foster and made good breaks through the visiting defence. Carleton was next to get on the score sheet to make it 26-0.

The floodgates opened slightly now going into the last quarter. Timoney scored another shortly afterwards and then the backs had their say. James Balfour scored his second followed shortly afterwards by cousin Sam Balfour.

Jack Rutledge picked up the final try after a series of pick and gos for the last play of the game.

It was an excellent display from Skins who patiently broke down a visiting side fuelled with momentum and continued to keep the tempo up as the game wound on.

Skins face bigger tasks ahead if they hope to reclaim the Towns’ cup, last won in 2017, but seem to be headed in the right direction.

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