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Fly-half Fraser Wright man for Inst win

Impressive fly-half bags 25-point haul

By Jonathan Bradley

Instonians continue to sweep aside all before them in Ulster's junior ranks and will meet Omagh in the Millar McCall Wylie Junior Cup final two weeks from today after overcoming Enniskillen in their final four clash on Saturday.

The home side had led by a score of just 6-0 at half-time but five tries after the turn, countered by just one from Enniskillen, ensured the tie ended with a one-sided complexion.

Fly-half Fraser Wright, scorer of 25 points, was the star performer for the victors.

Instonians president Michael Hunter said: "We're delighted with the win.

"At half-time, with the strength of the Enniskillen forwards, I knew we would have to change our game but thankfully we were able to do that and you could see our confidence come back.

"I assume our coach had some strong words and, in the second-half, we were able to move the ball a lot better."

And on the prospect of a final against Omagh, he added: "They're obviously a good side and we'll definitely have to do what we did in the second-half today. We'll need to make sure we play rugby and hopefully in the wide open spaces of Ravenhill we'll be able to do that."

Wright's impressive personal haul began with an early penalty with just five minutes on the clock.

The fly-half - just one year on from representing RBAI in the Schools' Cup - doubled his side's total ten minutes later with a penalty that shaved the left upright.

Things weren't going solely the way of the hosts, however, with injury to Michael Melville seeing him replaced by Marcus Hart and the Enniskillen scrum getting the upper hand.

Even having lost prop Richard Beatty to a knock, the forward unit seemed in a menacing mood and, when a clever kick to the corner pinned their opponents back, a crooked throw into the lineout gave them a real a chance to press home their dominance.

There only seemed to be one outcome on the cards when Instonians were penalised twice when being driven backwards but that did not account for the imminent arrival of Alan Whitten.

The usual captain had started the game on the bench but, when the pressure in the scrum led to a yellow card for Fergal Lynch, he was called into action earlier than expected. With Whitten solidifying the tighthead side, and Josh Cregan switching to his more usual loosehead position, the battle between the front-rows evened and, when Enniskillen were no longer able to drive forward, Jamie Johnston picked up at the base and a knock on near the line prevented a score.

The second-half bore little resemblance to what had preceded it with Wilbur Leacock's men seemingly scoring at will.

Their first try had an element of luck involved as Wright's lengthy drop goal attempt came back off a post and was gathered by Instonians and a couple of quick passes allowed South African lock Conor Brockschmidt to go over in the corner.

Wright added another penalty soon after and did not have to wait long for his first try of the day.

With half an hour remaining, quick ball off the top of a lineout released Paddy Bell and the ball was recycled to Wright who produced a clever step that enabled him to dot down untouched.

He converted his own try and gave his side a 21-0 lead that virtually ended the contest.

With a quarter of an hour to go, the Inst forwards rumbled over the line thanks to a ruthlessly efficient rolling maul that was finished off by hooker Glen Baxter and, five minutes later, Wright scored again when he streaked home following an intercept inside his own 22.

Enniskillen belatedly responded with a try through captain Jamie Johnston, but it was fittingly to be Instonians who had the last say when scrum-half Matthew Keane sniped around the fringes to score in the closing moments.

Belfast Telegraph


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