This match saw what was supposed to be an away fixture to Omagh Academy return to the Eisenhower Playing fields. Before Christmas the ERGS side ran out convincing winners, however the Christmas break seemed to have allowed the Omagh side grow considerably in height and physique in the short festive window. Omagh had travelled with a side who didn’t come to lose and the new look Omagh started the more dominant and confident. This dominance paid off with just 5 mins on the clock when they deservedly opened the scoring, as they burst through the ERGS defence to cross the whitewash. The conversion was missed so the score remained 5pts to Nil.
After some stern words of encouragement the ERGS side started to display elements of what was discussed at training showing more pride, passion and commitment.
A period of tight rugby ensued with neither team gaining any real territorial advantage however the home side were growing in confidence. ERGS played themselves into some good attacking positions but the boys will be disappointed with their lack of composure and stray passing which let the home side down several times. This was the trend until the referee blew up for half-time. Half-Time score ERGS 0 – 5 Omagh.
Alex Howe took the restart kicking into space which immediately put the ERGS team on the front foot, with excellent pressing by Harry and Eamon causing the Omagh winger to knock-on. The second half was starting to look much more like the ERGS side who were fantastic pre-Christmas. The ERGS scrum which looked to have gained confidence and strength, coupled with great striking from Will Kennedy, allowed another attack from the base of the scrum through James Morrison and the impressive Patrick Williams, leading to a penalty 5m from the Omagh line. Quick thinking by Louis Burns saw him tap and go, launching himself low towards the try line and scoring with an outstretched arm. ERGS 5 – 5 Omagh. Alex Howe converted extending the scoreline. ERGS 7 – 5 Omagh. Game On!
This score seemed to give the home side even more confidence and belief. Shortly after the restart Alex Howe outpaced the Omagh back line only to be taken out by a dangerously high tackle when he was ready to touch down for ERGS 2nd try. The offending Omagh player was shown a yellow card and played no further part in the game. Alex went off nursing an injured neck having been awarded a penalty try. ERGS 14 – 5 Omagh.
Following a quick reshuffle to the ERGS backline the game restarted and again the home team showed their dominance, admittedly helped by having an extra player. With 7 mins to go Tadgh Hambley made a typically line cutting break, and showing some great dancing skills as he evaded 4 Omagh tackles to score a superb individual try. Score ERGS 19 – 5 Omagh. Tadgh took over kicking duties and slotted home the conversion. Score ERGS 21 – 5 Omagh.
Omagh took the restart and pressed their own kick unfortunately for them conceding a penalty at the breakdown on the ERGS 22m line. With the game out of reach Tadgh Hambley took a quick penalty, running at the Omagh defence before passing to the surging Harvey Little, who showed a turn of pace Ulster winger Robert Baloucoune would have been proud of, and ran all of 60m breaking through endless attempts to stop him and finally the big second row scored a fine solo try. Score 26 – 5 Omagh. The conversion was missed and this proved to be the final kick of the game.
This win demonstrated what great character and spirit there is within the U13 squad to overturn a disappointing first half display and run out convincing winners against a very physically strong Omagh Academy.
We would like to encourage as many players as possible turn out for training on a Tuesday and Thursday to develop together and continue this winning run.