1st XV have win 54-22 at Enniskillen 1st XV

On Saturday 22 January 2022 Instonians travelled to Mullaghmeen to face Enniskillen RFC seeking a bonus point win to maintain their slender lead over Clogher Valley at the top of the table. There waiting was an Enniskillen side who had risen to 3rd place in the table thanks to an improving backline threat added to a firm defensive unit.

Confidence would have been high in the Instonians camp, however, with 12 of the 13 league games won and 11 of those with bonus points. The exception being the COVID cancellation with CIYMS which the Ulster Branch recorded as a draw thereby reducing our potential lead at the top of the table to just a single point.

With only 5 league games left for Instonians they all had huge significance and the old adage of one game at a time rang true so first up was Enniskillen so there was an air of expectation amongst the travelling Instonians support come kick off.

They did not have long to wait as Instonians started the game at a good tempo and good hands across the pitch and back again resulted in right wing Zak Davidson touching down in the far corner.

2 MINS - Enniskillen 0 - Instonians 5

Enniskillen then responded and after exerting pressure in the Instonians 22 scrum-half Matthew Keane was yellow carded for hands in the ruck. Enniskillen kept the pressure on and created an overlap for their right wing to score in the corner.

12 MINS - Enniskillen 5 - Instonians 5

Instonians responded well to being a man down and kept hold of the ball well. When they kicked to the corner in the opposition 22 Matthew Keane returned from the sin bin. The line out continued to function well and Instonians backline moved the ball well with Bevan Prinsloo giving a nice inside ball to Mark Keane who went over near to the posts. Jonathan Milliken added the extras.

18 MINS – Enniskillen 5 - Instonians 12

With both teams trying to run the ball it made for a good watch for both sets of supporters. When Enniskillen dropped the ball in midfield outside their 22 Davy Scott was alert and picked up to run in unopposed under the posts with Jonathan Milliken adding the extras and Instonians having some breathing space after half an hour’s play.

30 MINS – Enniskillen 5 - Instonians 19

Instonians were now in the ascendancy and following another successful line out Davy Scott made a line break and gave a pop pass to Mark Keane for his 2nd try of the day. This gave us a bonus point and quick thinking by Jonathan Milliken when the ball fell of the tee saw him drop kick the conversion extending the lead.

35 MINS – Enniskillen 5 - Instonians 26

There was still time for another Instonians try before the break when a move off the top of the line out saw an initial line break by Davy Scott and then off the next phase another break from Bevan Prinsloo and a final pass to the supporting runner Mark Keane who completed his hat trick before half time.

HALF TIME – Enniskillen 5 - Instonians 33

The half time team talk seemed to work well for Enniskillen and following a penalty they kicked to the corner and from the line out moved the ball along the backline and then an inside pass to the centre resulted in a score under the posts which was converted.

51 MINS – Enniskillen 12 - Instonians 33

Enniskillen continued to take the game to Instonians and moved the ball well right up to the Instonians line where Zak Davidson appeared to make a great last ditch tackle to put the left winger in touch. The ref was not in a great position and the touch judge did not raise his flag. Try awarded.

55 MINS – Enniskillen 17 - Instonians 33

Instonians needed a response and they certainly got it with good control of possession and territory setting up a good position in the Enniskillen 22. From a tap penalty scrum-half Matthew Keane saw a gap and went through it like a knife through butter to maintain his terrific try scoring record this season. Jonathan Milliken added the extras.

60 MINS – Enniskillen 17 - Instonians 40

As has been the norm in games this season Instonians fitness held up well going into the last quarter of the game with the pack well on top and following a penalty the decision was to kick to the corner. The ever reliable line out was the platform for good continuity between backs and forwards and then a driving maul finishing it off with the impressive Mark Mairs dotting down in the corner. An excellent conversion by Jonathan Milliken extended the lead.

66 MINS – Enniskillen 17 - Instonians 47

Instonians had not finished their scoring and again showed good hands between forwards and backs across the pitch and back again keeping the ball alive. This passage of play was well finished off by No 8 Alistair Burke who crashed over under the posts to bring up the half century of points with Jonathan Milliken adding the extras for good measure.

75 MINS – Enniskillen 17 - Instonians 54

Right on the final whistle Enniskillen scored a fine consolation try in the corner which fittingly gave them a losing bonus point which was reward for not letting their heads drop against an impressive Instonians side .

FULL TIME – Enniskillen 22 – Instonians 54

Well done Enniskillen in gaining a deserved bonus point and thanks to the referee for letting the game flow but also well done to Instonians players and coaches in producing another very good performance. A well deserved few weeks break now and then focus again on our next league game away to Dromore. Just 4 games to go now but we look no further than that trip to Barban Hill.

Some photos from the sideline on our facebook page:

(20+) Instonians Rugby Club | Facebook

Remaining league matches:

29th Jan - Clogher (H) - to be rescheduled as Clogher play Ballyclare in the All Ireland Junior Cup Final

19th Feb - Dromore (A)

5th Mar - Portadown (H)

12th Mar - Cooke (H)