Enniskillen Head Coach Willie Gibson is hoping for a better start in Monday’s Towns’ Cup final than the one Skins made in last year’s decider at Kingspan Stadium.

It’s back to back finals for Enniskillen as they get ready to take on Ballynahinch 2nd XV in the big Easter Monday decider and Gibson states that the key thing to learn from last year’s final is to ensure that they don’t get off to a poor start to the game.

In last year’s final, Bangor got off to a flying opening and although Skins responded in the second half they simply had left themselves too much to do.

“We haven’t really spoke about last year’s game to be honest, but we know that we have to make a better start. The start last year caused us issues, we gave them too much respect in the opening period. If we had another ten minutes at the end we would have won the game but we had given ourselves too much to do and we can’t afford to do that this time around.

“We have to shut them down and make them doubt themselves because if you don’t do that then you are going to struggle the whole game,” said Gibson.

Having played in the final at Kingspan Stadium last year that whole factor of a final in a big stadium should not come into play for the Skins players and Gibson is keen that they treat it as just another game.

“With playing in the final last year, everything will be that bit more familiar and the boys will know the surroundings so that shouldn’t come into it but it will be the same for Ballynahinch as they played there earlier in the season. At the end of the day it’s just another pitch and it’s still a game of rugby so nothing really changes in that respect and you have to go out and try and win the game,” he added.

Skins have enjoyed a good season and only for a blip midway through the campaign they would have secured a top four finish. However, they put that behind them to produce a strong end to the campaign and come into Monday’s game in fine form.

“We have found our style of rugby, “said Gibson. “It relies heavily on not letting teams score, we’ll just be trying to stop them and then live off whatever is left. In the Armagh game, they had 60 or 70 percent of the possession but we were the ones scoring all the tries and taking the opportunities when they presented themselves and I think that’s where we are different now.

“The likes of Baloucoune, Balmer and Finlay have been running in tries left, right and centre and when you are scoring out on the wings you must be doing something right.”

Gibson is expecting a tough battle on Monday but he feels that if his side are mentally prepared for the challenge then they have every chance of returning to Enniskillen with the cup.

“We played them earlier in the year and they are similar to the Armagh side in that they like to throw it about and they like keep you on your toes. You can’t switch off at all against them as they will punish you.

“We would feel that we are fit for them in the pack and fit for them in the backs but it is just all in the head at this point and if we turn up with the heads on we will hopefully get the job done,” he said.