ENNISKILLEN concluded their group stages of the 2023-24 Junior Cup campaign with an emphatic victory over a very accomplished Ballymoney side at Mullaghmeen last Saturday.

Almost 25 minutes elapsed before the first score and during that time it would have been the visitors who spent more time in the Skins half.

For the first 15 minutes, Skins rarely left their half and Ballymoney operated from behind a solid scrum and effective lineout.

The home side’s defensive systems underwent a severe examination.

On one occasion as Ballymoney recycled the ball through contact it seemed as if the visitors must score but they were denied by a brilliant piece of poaching at the breakdown and then carrying the ball for 40 metres to safety.

Following a penalty Enniskillen did find territory inside the Ballymoney half and good set piece ball was quickly moved to allow James Ferguson to score the opening try, converted by Eddie Keys.

It was not long before a Skins mistake gave Ballymoney field position and they came calling again.

Skins won a turnover penalty and decided to run it.

A further infringement allowed Ballymoney back and ultimately they scored an equalising try on the stroke of half-time.

Skins started the second half with more energy and urgency.

After five minutes they won a Ballymoney scrum and moved the ball swiftly to allow George Foster to score a converted try.

On 50 minutes, Skins stretched Ballymoney left and right and it was substitute Harry Dane who got over for a converted try.

Then on 65 minutes it was the forwards turn to drive Neil Rutledge over from a lineout maul effectively killing the game.

In the last 10 minutes, Ballymoney outscored Skins two tries to one.

Having just scored their best try of the match through Sam Balfour, Skins then gave away two penalties in a row to allow the visitors to get deep in their half and score as it ended 35-19.

Next Saturday, Ballymoney are again the visitors to Mullaghmeen.