Another weekend, another round of League rugby for Portadown. With only two teams out this weekend, there was another mixed bag of results and performances from both the Mens’ 1st XV and 3rd XV.
Men’s 1st XV
After a disappointing Junior Cup loss last week, it was a return to League action for the Mens’ 1st XV, who welcomed Grosvenor to Chamber’s Park.
In what has been a bad tradition this season, Portadown started slow and allowed the visitors to start in a dominate way, scoring three unanswered tries and a penalty, leaving the score 0-24.
Portadown finally responded with a try of their own, through fullback Tom Caesar after a well worked period of pressure from the home squad. This pressure continued into the second half, as after a long period of attack on Grosvenor 5 metre line, Prop Jonathon Reid crashed over.
Grosvenor continue to keep their score board ticking over with two more penalties allowed them to raise the score to 14-30, but despite this, Portadown continued with the momentum. After continuous pressure through their set piece and backline moves, Tom Caesar found the white line again to leave the score 21-30 which kept them within touching distance but despite this, there was no more change in the score as Grosvenor held their line for the last 10 minutes.
Portadown host Cooke again at Chamber’s Park on Saturday for a League fixture as they look to seek payback for their Junior Cup defeat earlier in the season.
Mens’ 3rd XV
Portadown 3s had the task of playing Newry 2s at home on a Saturday afternoon that was perfect for rugby. Portadown started well putting Newry under pressure with some fine backs moves and work at the line out, coming close on a number of occasions but not being able to penetrate their defence. Newry fought back with some big carries, but Portadown’s defence was solid. Despite this, Portadown conceded a couple of penalties giving Newry the opportunity to get on the score board and they took a 3 nil lead. Portadown fought right back and with a superb catch & drive from the pack and carries from the forwards, the ball was moved out to the backs where a excellent delayed switch from Adam Speers to Wayne Kelly who touched down for the first try. This was followed by some great work by Sam Close for the second try of the day putting the hosts 10-3 up at half time.
The second half started well with Portadown putting more pressure on Newry with Number 8 Diarmaid O’Kane breaking off the back of a scrum to score in the corner. As Portadown started to control the game even further, Sam Close spotted an opportunity to kick the ball trough the scrum with Johnny Hampton taking advantage and scoring another try, converted by Adam Speers. Peter Trimble got on the score sheet, after a quick Hampton tap and go, which led to Trimble powering over, converted by Speers. The final score of the game came off a restart, as O’Kane broke through the middle of the park, before linking with the backs and Captain Neil Macartney who then passed to Ceallach McCann who scored under the posts, Speers converted again to leave the final score 36-3 to Portadown, continuing their hot streak of results.