Dromore 22 Enniskillen 37 

Enniskillen 1st XV maintained their good record in the Championship League with a hard-fought but well-deserved bonus point win away to Dromore last Saturday.

The win sets up an exciting top of the table clash against Ballyclare.

Only one point separates the sides after 10 games.

This match was a lot tougher than the match against the same opponents the previous Saturday and it took a considerable amount of effort and skill to see Skins home.

Opening score

Dromore were determined to avenge their recent defeat but it was the visitors who struck first when following a short penalty, Eddie Keys did well to cross near the posts and converted his own try.

The home side then settled down and pounded the Skins’ defence and narrowed the gap with a penalty after 10 minutes when Skins went offside.

Both sides were attempting to play attacking rugby and both defences were difficult to penetrate in the early stages.

Dromore then conceded an unnecessary penalty for Keys to convert after 15 minutes.

Skins had a good period of pressure in the Dromore half until conceding a penalty for holding on.

On 20 minutes George Foster fielded a Dromore kick and skilfully gained good field position.

Skins won a scrum penalty and then kicked to the corner.

Following a well-controlled maul, Henry Keys crashed over for a try which his brother converted to leave the visitors 17-3 up after 25 minutes.

The scoreline was probably slightly unfair to Dromore who produced plenty of swift attacks which could easily have provided a score.

Indeed it was the home side who scored next.

Following a penalty and kick to the corner, a strong maul resulted in a try which was converted.

Dromore then had a period of pressure which was only relieved by turnover penalties from James Ferguson but Enniskillen did lose their discipline for a short period and conceded soft penalties.

This allowed Dromore territory and they scored again just before half time leaving it 17-15 to Enniskillen.

In the balance

The match was very much in the balance at half-time but it was Enniskillen who started the second half the brighter.

Firstly, a very good kick by Matty Dane created field position and then Skins won a scrum penalty which was kicked to the corner.

Following several good phases of passing it was James Ferguson who spotted a gap to score a try which was converted after 45 minutes.

The visitors appeared to be increasing the pressure in the scrums and Eddie Keys kept Dromore pinned back in their half with accurate kicks to touch or steepling Garryowens.

The pressure paid off as from a short penalty Angus Keys crossed for a converted try.

Following substitutions and a yellow card for each side, it was Dromore who attacked strongly and scored a good try in the corner which was well converted to leave the score 31-22.

There was still plenty of time for Dromore to make a comeback and they tried hard.


However, a further turnover by Ferguson, a good kick by Foster and a fine catch under pressure by the Skins winger helped turn the tide.

The Enniskillen scrum was becoming dominant and this resulted in two scrum penalties which were well converted by Keys to leave the final score 37-22.

This was a deserved win achieved by a real team effort.

Credit must go to the young Munster referee who was consistent throughout the match.

Next Saturday is the eagerly awaited home game against league leaders Ballyclare.