Relegation battle out of Lisburn’s hands

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Lisburn 10 Enniskillen 14

At Blaris under lights in a midweek fixture, visitors Enniskillen played the more direct rugby and Lisburn were without four influential players because of injury and unavailability in Mark Gilkinson, Peter Graham, Ross Edgar and Mark Crothers.

Nevertheless, their replacements played well and it was Lisburn who went into the lead from a penalty by full back Chris Knox after just seven minutes play.

At this stage Lisburn were putting their all into both attack and defence against a team that were fully up for the contest.

A great run down the right wing by Noel Hooke saw an overlap with a direct run to the line but the pass did not stick and went directly into touch.

The Skins then came back and put strong prolonged pressure on the Lisburn line and they were rewarded with an equalising penalty when Lisburn went over the top in a ruck and the score was 3-3.

On the 25 minute mark disaster struck for Lisburn when a garryowen into the Lisburn 22 was knocked on and Enniskillen were quickly up to hack the ball up to the line for a very fortunate score.

At this stage of the game all the pressure was coming from Enniskillen and two further penalties gave them a half time lead of 3-14.

Lisburn steadied the ship immediately and within five minutes had reduced the arrears following a great burst through the visitor’s defence by second row Andy Barron who ran to the line underneath the posts to score.

Chris Knox converted and Lisburn were right back in the game at 10-14.

Alas, that turned out to be the final score despite the frantic efforts of the Lisburn pack to save the game.

They must now await the results of others as the relegation battle is not in their hands, should either Holywood or UUC win more than one of their remaining three games to close the 7 and 10 point gap respectively.