At Enniskillen on Boxing Day, a rather under strength Smiley Monroe Lisburn First XV went down 17-0 to mid-table Enniskillen in a festive feast for the home team.
Without almost half of their normal squad because of injuries and unavailability, Lisburn fought hard to try and win this game and each of the players who came in put their body on the line.
Enniskillen started strongly spraying the ball wide through their backline and opened the scoring with a try in the corner to make it 5-0.
Lisburn then settled in and got the ball into their hands for the first time and immediately drove ‘Skins down the slope towards their own line.
It looked on a number of occasions that Lisburn must score but the home defence stood firm and their outhalf kept clearing their lines with booming kicks to avert the danger. On 35 minutes, Enniskillen eventually broke out and a number of missed tackles by the visitors allowed them to score again to bring up the half time score of 12-0.
Lisburn were determined to make progress in the second period, despite having to play up the slope, and soon brought the ball up to the Skins line.
However, a penalty in front of the posts was fluffed, the first of three similar efforts. Lisburn kept battering at the home defence for much of the second half but to no avail and just approaching the full time whistle, Enniskillen broke out once more and ran the ball down into the corner where an overlap was created and the try made it 17-0.
This was a game that Lisburn might have won but circumstances decreed otherwise. They played with heart, despite the lack of many of their normal team, but they know that the return fixture in Lisburn is winnable.
The team still sit second from the bottom of the Qualifying League table, a position not warranted by some of their displays so far this season. Next Saturday they travel to high flying Bangor to play in the first round of the Town’s Cup and hopefully many of their players will be back to strengthen their resources for what will be a tough assignment.
Meanwhile, the Third XV travel to CIYMS Thirds for the first round of the Forster Plate.