Leaving wintery conditions behind in Fermanagh, Skins found Spring had arrived in Co. Antrim for their Towns' Cup semi-final in Ballymoney eventually winning 30-25.

It was their fourth encounter with the ‘Toon’ men this season, having won the previous three games but each having been a close affair and Saturday would be no different.

Each side probed but there was no score in the opening quarter.

Using the wind advantage Ballymoney edging the territorial battle but Skins were moving the ball well, enjoying the dry weather and would open the scoring with a fine try that started with their scrum on halfway, near the left touchline.

The ball was moved right, with Ben McLaren coming off his wing to make a line-break on the opposite side of the pitch. He fed James Ferguson who out-paced the defence from 40m to touch down under the posts. Eddie Keys converted to leave it 7-0 to Skins.

A succession of penalties prevented Skins from building on this lead and kept Ballymoney in the game. They would kick two of them to get within a point.

Skins then dominated for the rest of the half. McLaren came close to scoring in the left corner, after a rumbustious run by Keenan in midfield had set up a ruck midfield.

Skins were awarded a penalty for a high tackle five metres from the line.

They opted to run the ball and were rewarded when Angus Keys scored with some good footwork to find a gap in the defence. The conversion made it 14-6 to Skins.

The lead was extended immediately from the kick-off, when Keenan fielded the box kick by Mattie Dane inside the Skins’ half, carried into the Ballymoney half, off-loading deftly to Angus Keys who sprinted on before passing inside to Stevie Balfour to finish an excellent try.

Eddie Keys converted to bring it to 21-6 and Skins appeared to be in the ascendancy.

However, several penalties led to the home team getting into the Skins 22 and score a try from close range while Skins were reduced to 14 men after a yellow card. The conversion was missed as Skins led 21-11 at the break.

Skins extended that lead to 24-11, following a penalty by Keys five minutes into the second half and seemed in control of the game, despite playing with 14.

The numbers told though, as Ballymoney then went through the phases to score a converted try and close the gap to 24-18.

Skins responded well, pushing the lead out with another Keys’ penalty.

Ballymoney were fortunate to get a penalty when Jim Carleton was penalised at the lineout, having appeared to have stolen the opposition ball fairly.

That allowed the Toon men an inroad to the Skins’ 22.

Skins received another yellow card when an attempted intercept knocked the ball forward near the line.

Ballymoney went on to score a try from the penalty and with the conversion the score closed to 27-25.

Skins responded well and took play deep into the Ballymoney half, earning a penalty 10 metres from the line in the right corner.

Hill tapped quickly before the defence was set and was tackled within a few metres of the mark.

A penalty advantage was played but there was no further sanction.

When play broke down, Keys kicked the penalty to make it 30-25 going into the final 15 minutes.

Enniskillen exited well from the restart but penalties allowed Ballymoney a lifeline with an attacking lineout in Skins 22.

Carleton rose to steal the ball with a fine two-handed catch, which was critical. A penalty ensued, which Keys kicked 50 metres for a big territorial swing and a Skins lineout this time.

They were then awarded a further penalty which Keys kicked but was controversially disallowed when the home team linesman signalled it had gone wide.

This meant Ballymoney could still win the tie with a converted try and just under 10 minutes to play.

Play returned to the Ballymoney half and Ferguson chased down his own kick to within five metres of the try line.

He tried to rip the ball from the Ballymoney full-back, who was on the ground but was penalised.

And Skins were able to hold out to set up a Easter Monday final at Kingspan Stadium against Ballymena II.

Attention turns back to the league now, with three games remaining with an away trip to City of Derry on Saturday.