Skins celebrate Shield success

Ballymena/Cooke 5
Enniskillen 29

Skins were fast out of the blocks, with a strong wind behind their backs, and both captain Orlaith Maguire and Ellie Gordon were carrying the ball forward well.

A quick ball from Julia Mulligan and a pass from Karla Crozier sent Ruby Moore over unopposed for her first unconverted try.


Rebecca Read fielded the ball confidently from the restart and was the instigator of an attack straight through the middle of the pitch, linking with Maguire and the fast-footed Mulligan who sprinted through for a fine finish from her own half. Eve Balfour was ice-cool with the conversion.

Skins were now in the ascendancy with Alice Seaney and Jessica Kingston carrying well.

Some indiscipline at the ruck was costing Skins in terms of the penalty count but some exemplary rucking from Kelly Burford and a swift transfer by Rhea Cartin-McCloskey found Moore inside the Skins’ 22’ and she used her searing pace to break two tackles and win the foot race to the line. Alice Seaney made no mistake from the tee.

Skins now had their tails up and a pinpoint Rianna Mulligan dart to the reliable Alice Reynolds at the front of a lineout, deep in opposition territory, created a platform for a driving maul.

The ball was then moved wide on the left through Sarah Johnston, Natalie Turner and finally Moore who used her try scoring instinct to finish a fine move and secure her hat-trick.

With conditions deteriorating, the driving rain was making handling difficult but Skins continued to build good attacking phases through quick ball and accurate passing and Gordon barged over for a well deserved try to leave Enniskillen in a commanding 29 points lead at the break.

Enniskillen were playing into a strong breeze in the second half and Ballymena/Cooke started the second half with ferocious intent.


With a commanding lead, Skins’ defence held strong with fine tackling from Emma Fawcett and Mollie Magee.

The opposition continued to look for a way through Skins’ stubborn resolve and the amalgamated side finally made a breakthrough following a scrum penalty and a crash over from 5 metres.

Ballymena/Cooke were now enjoying more possession but the Skins’ forwards of Carrie McCourt and Olivia Roulston were meeting the physical battle head on.

Skins were showing good work on both sides of the ball and some heroic blitz defending from Balfour and player of the match Kelly Burford kept the opposition’s challenge at bay.

The Skins’ duo of Abigail Kernaghan and Sarah Elliot kept to their task in defence to see the game out.

This win secured some well deserved silverware at the end of the season for a gifted group of Enniskillen girls.

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