Enniskillen Royal Grammar School made the relatively short journey to Omagh to play their local rivals in the last game before the festive break. In a close and at times tense affair it was the Fermanagh side that edged the contest by 17 points to 14 .
Omagh got off to a great start, after exerting pressure on the ERGS lineout, the Omagh flanker broke on the blindside and ran in to open the scoring and with the conversion successful Omagh held an early 7 point lead. This wakeup call seemed to spark Enniskillen into life and a fine break by No 8 Gauley resulted in a try and with the conversion missed Omagh held a two point lead.
Following this frantic start it was plain to see that there wasn’t much in the two sides with neither team managing to gain any territorial advantage. With a quarter of the game gone, the impressive Omagh eight broke down the blindside and following a series of missed tackles he scampered in from 40 meters to increase Omagh’s lead. However it was now becoming a battle of the No 8s and Gauley then decided it was now his turn and after powering through a few Omagh tackles he scored his second try from half way to leave the half time score 14-12 to the Tyrone side.
The second half was played at a frantic pace with both sides trying to win the forward battle, it was heartening to see major improvements in the way ERGS were retaining and protecting the ball at ruck time with Carnduff and Thompson to the fore. The extra hours in the gym and the training paddock was very apparent and is starting to pay dividends. It was without doubt that the improved fitness levels gave Enniskillen the edge in the closing stages. An Omagh indiscretion gave ERGS a penalty which they kicked to the corner. After a well taken lineout the ball was moved though several phases before fullback Malone scored in the corner and give the Enniskillen side a 17-14 victory.
This was a much improved performance from the Enniskillen side who were playing against a well drilled and committed Omagh side. The lineout improves week by week and ball retention has improved beyond all recognition. With the school holidays in full swing there is no rest for ERGS Medallions as they continue to train over the festive period and who knows come mid-January and the medallion shield 3rd round, maybe just maybe they could cause a few surprises!