In wet, greasy conditions Enniskillen ground out a win in a very competitive game. There was nothing to separate the sides at half-time, with the score at 7 apiece. The Royal School had taken the lead after 10 minutes, when Stinson powered over from a ruck close to the line. Eddie Keys converted from wide on the left.
Stinson was soon in action again at the other end of the field when he stopped a certain score, snuffing out a number 8 pick-up from a 5m scrum and bundling his opposite number into touch at the corner flag. White took a clean catch from the ensuing lineout and the pack mauled the ball for several metres to create some space for Keys to put in a long clearance kick.
Ben Davis continues to make great strides (literally) and is developing into a very good ball carrier, as well as a formidable scrummager. He also contributed with an important ‘steal’ at a lineout. The new second row pairing of Havers and Wilson was also going well and the flankers, Henry Keys and Callum Smyton, were leading the way in the loose, tackling and competing at the breakdown with great intensity. When John Elliott joined the fray he nearly scored with a neat dummy and side-step close to the line. Mathew Beatty should also be mentioned, playing well at hooker, in what was only his second game in that position.
Enniskillen were soon on the attack again but unfortunately scorned at least two scoring opportunities, failing to control the wet ball when the try line beckoned, before Coleraine equalised just on half-time, with a good line break on the 22.
Conditions made an expansive handling game difficult, so the backs were mainly confined to defensive duties, while the forwards carried the ball closer to the rucks and Keys kicked into space more than usual. Some ‘off-loads’ were attempted when the better option might have been to simply go to ground and ruck the ball to retain possession. In defence, full-back Sam Milligan fielded and returned kicks with interest and also made a great covering tackle to help keep Coleraine scoreless in the second period.
The travelling team stuck to its task until a second half hat-trick by Smyton secured the win. This capped a good week for Callum, which started with news of his well deserved inclusion in the Ulster under 16 development panel. Further representation from the Enniskillen squad will surely follow if the boys continue to work hard, develop and succeed as a team over the next few years.
Smyton’s first try came from another good two-handed take by White at a short line-out on the 22. For the second he ran a good angle, coming from deep, and taking a short pass from scrum-half Mattie Bothwell off a ruck close to the Coleraine line. Bothwell converted. Smyton rounded off the scoring from a scrum on half-way. Bothwell made an intelligent dummy run to the open side while Smyton, now playing number 8, broke blind to run in from 50m.
A bit more accuracy and intensity were needed, particularly in the first half, but this was still a very good away win against one of the traditionally stronger schools.
Match day squad: Ben Davis, Mathew Beatty, Justin White, Matt Wilson, Zac Havers, John Elliott, Henry Keys, Callum Smyton, David Stinson, Mattie Bothwell, Eddie Keys, Sam Balfour, Taine Haire, Jason Bothwell, Charlie Donaldson, Andrew Patton, Sam Milligan.