After last week’s near miss against Portadown, surely this week against Campbell College the Medallion 15 could not suffer the same fate.
From kick-off there was a real sense of determination in the boys as they charged at the Campbell 15. Thursdays work on expansive play and using the forwards to attach the 10-12 channel began to work well as H Ingram fed runners round the corner who crashed through the Campbell line. Within 5 minutes ERGS were looking very likely to score and it was No.11 G Pattison who got the first opportunity but was to be held-up just over the line by his opposite man. The intensity of the first 10 minutes was inspiring but proved unsustainable and suddenly Campbell began to re-group and attach back finding a few holes in the defence and putting the first points on the score board 7-0. Following a second try scored by a kick over the top and recovery, the ERGS side were down 12-0 and began to fear a repeat of other matches this season. However, as in the previous week, it was No.8 K Guobys who stepped forward to lead the charge, blasting through the defensive line and scoring under the posts, allowing No.12 S Owen to convert and bring the end of the first half to a close, 12-7.
As the 2nd half commenced, the ERGS boys had once again found the passion they started the game with. Excellent handling and rucking allowed them to maintain possession whilst driving the Campbell defensive line backwards. Suddenly No.10 H Ingram saw his chance and through quick thinking and footwork managed to slip a tackle and dive over the line, converted by No. 14 D Johnston, ERGS went into the lead 12-14. Campbell then came back strong again, hitting hard at a tiring ERGS defence. Through some solid passing they worked their way around the defence exploiting on overlap to score on the wing and push the score back in their favour 19-14. With 10 minutes still to play, the Enniskillen 15 threw themselves back at Campbell. More excellent passing and positional play consistently pressured the defence and kept the game within the Campbell half. Quick hands and vision by No.9 P McConkey then spread the ball to the blind side and No.7 M Browne was there to secure ERGS’s third try of the game on the right wing. S Owen stepped forward once again and ‘slotted’ the conversion right through the middle of the posts to put ERGS back in the lead with only three minutes to go, 21-19. All that needed to be done now was close out the game and defend territory which the boys did well until Campbell earned themselves a lineout 25 metres out. An early defensive jump in the lineout triggered and series of penalties and in the last play of the game the home side had the chance to kick for the posts. The ball scrapped over the cross bar with inches to spare and brought a close to an fantastic game of competitive rugby, but one that, yet again, left the ERGS boys searching. Final score 22-21.