Portadown RFC had 3 teams out this weekend, with the Under 21s taking on Banbridge on Friday night, and the Men’s 1st and 2nd XV playing on Saturday. 1sts played Carrick at home, and the 2nds were on the road to Instonians.
The Under 21s were under the Friday Night Lights playing local rivals Banbridge in what was a tight and physical game between both sides. After 60 minutes, Portadown were the winners with a solo try in the first half separating the sides. Portadown played some great rugby and defended with their hearts on their sleeve all game to round out the game, despite having a range of injuries during the game.
Saturday had perfect conditions for rugby, as Portadown’s Men’s 1st XV hosted Carrick 1st XV in a league fixture. Portadown named a similar starting XV that started against City of Armagh last weekend, with Conor Megarity, Philip Shirley and Mark Henderson being the only changes in the starting team due to injuries and suspension.
Portadown and Carrick both started the game strong with continual attacking rugby from both sides setting the standard for the afternoon. Carrick started the scoring, with a clean break through their rapid backs, which was a theme for their first three tries, leaving the initial score 21-0 to the visitors. Portadown then worked hard to score through winger Brett Flack, but this was the only score that Portadown could touch down during the first half, as with some lack lustre tackling, Carrick touched down twice more to leave the half time score at 33-7 to Carrick, with Portadown needing to up their game in the 2nd half to stay in the game.
The hosts started with a bang, with a strong attacking pressure which lead to Brett Flack touching down in the corner again. This was backed up by better rugby by Portadown, with the lineout and set moves allowing scrum-half Drew Flack to run under the posts untouched. Sandwiched between two Carrick penalties, Brett Flack touched down for his third of the day, but he wasn’t finished there, as he touched down for his fourth and final try of the day, followed by a final Carrick penalty. This comeback by Portadown wasn’t enough to regain the victory, with the final score being 42-29 to the visitors. The first half will be a lesson for the team, as they move along to next week’s fixture against Ballyclare away.
The 2nd XV travelled to Instonians in their first fixture of the 2021/22 season. With a tough game to start the season, and despite a range of players unable for selection, a strong squad was named to travel to Belfast. The lack of game time for the 2nd XV was evident by Instonians taking a 15-0 lead, but as the Portadown side warmed into the game, they started to play some rugby. With tries through Ryan Neill, Ceallach McCann and Andrew Chambers, two conversions and a penalty from Wayne Kelly, Portadown scored 22 unanswered points to win their first competitive fixture in a year 15-22. A solid performance from 1-15, they will hope to continue this form away to Ballymoney next weekend.