Enniskillen Royal 1st XV travelled to Portadown College on Saturday morning having had their scheduled match against Grosvenor cancelled due to the away school failing to field a team.
The weather conditions and the playing surface were not ideal for the brand of rugby that the ERGS boys like to play and their game management was found wanting at times. The Enniskillen team dominated the opening exchanges, especially in the tight, with the forwards carrying hard and making yards with relative ease. Several handling errors, a result of the wind and rain, meant that the ERGS team struggled to capitalise on their early dominance. However, the pressure eventually paid off when Darragh Love, moving out to the wing for this game, made a break through the middle of the Portadown team to score under the posts. The try was duly converted by returning outhalf Tadhg Hambly. Almost immediately, Enniskillen failed to deal with the restart and Portadown used their size advantage to make inroads towards to Enniskillen try line. A strong carry and a few missed tackles resulted in the Portadown loose head prop scoring underneath the posts to draw the scores level at 7 all. ERGS responded quickly with a good set-piece move putting right wing Harry Ingram in space to score the away teams second try. This was almost immediately followed by the third score when second row forward Reece Holmes made a strong break through the middle, brushing off several tackles to score between the sticks, again converted by Hambly. This left the half-time score as 19-7.
Portadown, with renewed energy, started the second half the stronger and pressurised the young Enniskillen team into making uncharacteristic errors. The penalty count started to rack up and Portadown capitalised on the momentum and scored their second try in the corner which went unconverted. 19-12. The ERGS boys responded positively and played the remaining 15 minutes in the Portadown half. They managed to get a fourth score from short range, again by Reece Holmes, to put the game out of sight, finishing 24-12.
A lesson to be learned in terms of discipline and accuracy at the breakdown and being able to manage the weather conditions, something they hope to rectify before next weekend’s trip to face Royal School Dungannon.