12 January 2019
Enniskillen Royal went to Omagh in the hope of hard match against the Academy in preparation for their 2nd round Ulster Schools 2nd XV match on Monday against Wallace High School and the Academy obliged, in spades.
It was a well contested match until the last quarter when ERGS began to run away. ERGS hooker, John Fitzpatrick, made the first decisive break of the game and off-loaded to winger, Jason Bothwell, who opened the scoring for the visitors. Enniskillen had the opportunity to go further ahead thanks to an infringement by the home side but out-half, George Foster, opted for territory and drilled the ball down close to the Omagh line. ERGS lock, Matthew Wilson, won the line-out and drove for the try line. From the ruck that followed ERGS captain, Tom Pendry, was quick to act as he picked from the base and went over for another 5 points.
ERGS foolishly let the home side back into the game by conceding a series of avoidable penalties. Omagh took advantage as their forwards made good ground towards the visitor’s line where they used “pick and go” tactics to cross the whitewash and put their first points on the board. The first half finished 10 points to 5 in favour of the Fermanagh side.
Enniskillen brought on all nine subs at half time and during the settling in period Omagh’s talented out-half scored an individual try and converted it. He followed that by kicking a penalty to put Omagh ahead by 17 points to 10. That turned out to be the high point of the game for Omagh. As the subs integrated, ERGS took greater control of the match. Foster kept Omagh pinned down with accurate kicks out of hand and he released a good back line move to put his centre, Angus Fraser, in with a chance to score. Fraser, who is improving with every game, beat two players to score under the posts. Foster converted and the scores were levelled at 17 points all.
Flanker, Ryan Daly, scored from the back row as Enniskillen deprived Omagh of any meaningful ball and when their forwards crossed the line shortly afterwards there was no way back for the home side. Foster converted to add two further points and the game finished at 29 points to 17 in favour of Enniskillen, an excellent warm up for their Cup match on Monday in Lisburn.
Try scorers:- John Fitzpatrick, Aly Jones, Ben Donaldson, Sam Fraser, Albert Gauley.
Conversions:- Craig Johnston, George Foster.