Omagh Accies 27 Enniskillen 6
OMAGH produced a solid defensive display to edge out rivals Enniskillen in an entertaining Junior Cup joust at the Mellon Playing Fields on Saturday afternoon.
Skins made the trip in optimistic mood of causing an upset and while they enjoyed plenty of possession and territory they were unable to breach the Accies defensive lines. Repeatedly bottled up, the Accies recovered from a slow start and, once they got their noses in front, they never looked back as they outscored their guests by five tries to nil.
Two inspirational tries from full back Alistair Beckett were the highlights of an otherwise satisfactory outing for Phil Marshall’s men.
Beckett was named man of the match afterwards, but the display of Mark Brown is worthy of special mention because he tackled, harried, ripped possession away from Skins and was involved of much of the hard graft as Omagh fought their way back.
Exchanges remained very competitive during the initial stages with Carlton and the impressive David Buchanan to the fore in a hard-working Skins pack. Beckett made a solid clearance to punish a poor kick into space, as Skins tried to force the issue, but Omagh were gradually turning the screw.
James Catterson took a line out against the head, and when referee Alan Ward pinged Enniskillen for straying off side Omagh waved the kick at goals in favour of position, but it backfired as they lost the resulting lineout before the visitors took the lead on 23 minutes.
Lendrum slotted a penalty for a 3-0 lead and moments later a superb break from flanker Brian and carried on by Carlton paved the way for a penalty that Lendrum tapped over for a 6-0 advantage.
Omagh’s response was swift and decisive as they struck for the opening try of the afternoon. From a scrum close to the Skins line the ball was recycled out to Beckett, who fended off the cover before
moving over the line. Scott Elliott added the conversion for a 7-6 lead.
With Ryan Mitchell and Jonny Sproule putting in the tackles Omagh continued to repel a number of Skins attacks. Lendrum opted to kick a penalty down the line when Omagh were penalised for crossing, but a stubborn defensive display kept the hosts in front by the narrowest of margins, at half time.
Minutes into the second half, Omagh extended their lead with a second try when Beckett powered over for his second try. Elliott was off target from the resulting conversion but now leading 12-6 Omagh were in control.
With Catterson, Jamie Sproule and Mervyn Edgar putting in the tackles Omagh managed to repel a number of promising attacks from Mark O’Shea, Ferguson and McClaughry before a piece of solo brilliance from the influential Beckett sent the supporting Mark Brown through for an unconverted try and a decisive lead.
Skins to their credit kept battling but lacked the incisiveness to make a way through with Omagh completing a very comfortable outing with further tries from Brown and Matty Eccles as they eased their way into the last sixteen.
Next weekend Omagh turn their attention back to Kukri Division One
with a difficult assignment away to Instonians.
OMAGH Accies first All-Ireland League outing in 17 years yielded an impressive victory at Bruff on Saturday.
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