Enniskillen Royal 17 Armagh Royal 25

Enniskillen Royal Grammar School slipped to defeat in their second group stage game in the Schools’ Cup, going down 25-17 to Armagh Royal at Eisenhower Playing Fields on Wednesday afternoon.

After the sides had traded tries, Armagh got on top and went in at the break leading 19-7.

However, the home side rallied in the second half and a Cameron Smith try - his second of the game - and a James Trotter penalty saw ERGS close to within five points, 22-17, with ten minutes to go.

But, Armagh slotted over a penalty in response, sealing an eight point win and denying ERGS a losing bonus point.

“There is frustration more than anything else as I felt we were well capable of winning today,” said ERGS Head Coach, Ashley Finlay.

“We were a good match for them, they weren’t any better than us, but we just didn’t play to our level on the day and maybe that was down to nerves and a bit of inexperience.”

Armagh got off to a great start to the contest as they scored an early try.

ERGS, who were without injured captain Tadgh Hambley, were guilty of too many errors in the opening 15 minutes but they did start to settle and they hit back with a try of their own. From a line out on the 22 ERGS set up a maul and Cameron Smith peeled off and charged over the line from 20 yards. Trotter then slotted over the conversion to put the home team into a 7-5 lead.

However, Armagh were to have the better of the exchanges through to the interval and two converted tries saw them take a 19-7 lead in at the break.

That gap was pushed out to 15 points on the restart as Armagh landed a penalty but ERGS responded well after this and they were back in it when Smith touched down for his second try. Toby Newman made a break through the middle before off loading to Smith who powered over. Trotter added the extras to make it 22-14.

And when Trotter then converted a penalty it left five between the sides with Skins sensing the win.

It was not to be though and Armagh went on to seal the win with a penalty as they ran out 25-17 victors.

ERGS last game will see them face Omagh in just over two weeks time and Finlay acknowledges that they may need a bonus point win to guarantee progression in the competition.

“We have Omagh next and we may need a try bonus point win to guarantee qualification. We beat them earlier in the year and it was high scoring but it was close but we’ll be targeting that bonus point win,” he said.