Enniskillen 1st XV 31 Clogher Valley 1st XV 0.

Enniskillen secured the local bragging rights following their derby victory over rivals Clogher Valley in a crucial league encounter at Mullaghmeen on Saturday.
Clogher had dominated the early exchanges but failed to make it count on the scoreboard as a battling Skins rode out the pressure before going on the attack themselves.A James Ferguson touch down and a penalty try had Skins 12-0 to the good at half time and they built on that throughout the second half with Tyler Millar, Matty Dane and Connor Keys all scoring tries to seal the victory.
Skins coach Willie Gibson felt that his side’s ability to take their chances was decisive in the game.
“We didn’t see the ball for the opening 20 minutes but we managed to weather the storm and once we got past that we took control and we took our chances which was key. We got tries from our first two chances and Clogher really had no answer after that,” said Gibson.
And he believes that the win will provide a timely confidence boost for his players.
“We can go into the New Year with a bit of a lift and the boys deserved that as they have worked really hard for this last five or six weeks without getting any reward for it. This will give the boys confidence,” he said.
Clogher coach Davy Black felt his side failed to show up on the day and accepted that they were beaten by a better side.
“For the first 20 minutes or so we were all over them but we needed to score during that period and the fact that we didn’t gave Enniskillen confidence. You have to hand it to Skins, any chance they got they scored, their backs were very sharp and although our tackling was very poor, I’ve no arguments, the better team won on the day. We just didn’t turn up,” he stated.
It was all Clogher though from the outset as they kicked off the fixture and set up camp inside the Skins 22’. Ryan Wilson and Barry John Wilson carried hard throughout along with the hard working David Sharkey and Michael Traynor whow ere also prominent for the Valley. In typical Clogher fashion the maul was rampant off the line out and they looked sure to cross the line but for some desperate Enniskillen defence keeping them out on multiple occasions. For the first 20 minutes Skins weathered the storm, giving away penalties under pressure in the process that had them continuously trapped deep in their own half for a prolonged period, but keeping the scoreboard unflinching. Close range carries from the Clogher pack were well met by Skins with big hits coming in from the back row of Jamie Johnston, Alex Gormley and Gareth McCoy.
After finally turning over ball and exiting their own half Skins began to put some strong attacking phases together. The Skins line out functioned well and provided a good platform for the backs through Grayson Donnelly and Kaine Holden. Slick hands through the back line found centre Connor Keys who sent a perfect pass out to James Ferguson on the wing who ran almost 40 metres to score the first try of the contest, unconverted to go 5-0 up. The pack responded well from the restart with a rampaging take from Gareth McCoy who offloaded to Holden, bringing play back into the Clogher half. The Skins pack continued to make good ground through some rampant carries and Alex Gormley crossed the line only to be deemed held up. The resultant scrum, however, featured a huge drive from the pack through the front row of Ferguson, Cathcart and Beatty which then dropped on the Clogher side inches from the try line; the referee awarding a penalty try for the action which put Skins 12-0 up going into the end of the half.
Clogher didn’t lie down and the second half required another grind from Skins to get in the ascendency. Clogher’s line out continued to operate well and the pack carried hard at the home side. The physicality of Skins was leagues above what it has been in previous weeks however, and the defence never missed a beat as the pack worked itself ragged. Penalties began to come Enniskillen’s way now and Lendrum kicked them deep into Clogher’s half. The visitors defended the Skins maul well but an infringement had Skins with a 5 metre scrum, the ball went blind to Tyler Millar at pace who stepped through the defence to score in the corner, converted by Lendrum to go 19-0 up.
Skins were growing confident now and shortly afterwards, a set move from the backs found Matty Dane who spotted a gap and coasted through a host of scrambling Clogher defence to score under the posts, converted to go 26-0 up. A scuffle broke out on the grounding of the try which had Kaine Holden and BJ Wilson exit the field with yellow cards, and a penalty to Skins immediately off the restart. Clogher tried to move the ball in the final 10 minutes to look for a consolation score but Skins continued to apply a lot of pressure in defence and a fumble in midfield was gathered by Connor Keys who ran in a 40 metre try for the last play of the game, unconverted to end proceedings 31-0 to Enniskillen.
This was an excellent performance by Skins with heaps of desire shown. The pack looked aggressive and hungry for the contest while the back line played some scintillating rugby. Ashley Finlay was spectacular at fullback and tore through the Clogher defence on numerous occasions.
The much anticipated annual Boxing Day fixture at Mullaghmeen between the 1st XV and Exiles side will go ahead as usual, kicking off at 4.30pm with the clubhouse and bar open throughout.