A busy week for Portadown, read below what happened!
1st XV-Portadown travelled down to Clogher Valley for what they knew would be a tough game against a strong team at the top of the league. Naming a similar team from last week, Portadown struggled early to get up to speed with the Clogher Valley pace of the game, conceding two early tries. But after this initial bad start, Portadown settled into the game, as they put a lot of pressure in CV’s 22. A strong maul gave Portadown their first try which was followed by a Penalty from Chris Cousens. After this, the score was close but a CV try before half time gave them the advantage going into the break. After this break, CV’s dominance continued as they started to put pressure on Portadown as the game became very frantic. Despite this, CV was able to advance their score until the final whistle with the final score firmly in favour of the hosts 52-10. A tough loss for Portadown but another important week ahead as they take on Dromore at home, all support welcome!
2nd XV-Portadown 2nds hosted Clogher Valley under the floodlights on Wednesday which was a game the men in blue were sure to target after a disappointing performance in the two sides first meeting this season. However it was Portadown that could not seem to shake the memories of their last games and allowed Clogher the freedom to play for the first 20 minutes of the game with almost undisputed possession as Portadown hardly touched the ball, despite this there was great spirit in defence for the young side who were keen to show they would be no walk over. After surviving the initial onslaught Portadown got their hands on the ball and were ready to play and unleashed the backs who were able to weave in behind the Clogher line and get some front foot ball and as the first half came to a close it looked as if the momentum of the game was about to shift to the home side. However it was Clogher who struck first in the second half, targeting weak shoulders and were able to gain an easy score to secure them on top. This would not stop the young Portadown team who knew there was still a fight back to be had and with courageous play saw scores from Sam Close, Luke Ashton and an expertly weighted cross field kick saw Alex Blakely touch down in the corner. Unfortunately it was the clock who beat Portadown as the game ended 31-24 to Clogher but the men in blue will take the second half as a win and will take away many positives from the game and will know if they could have had 10 more minutes they just might have been able to turn the result around.
3rd XV- Portadown 3s wanted to kick on after there success in winning their regional league and securing a place in the regional premier league. Their opponents where Ballyclare who had started their league campaign with a bonus point win the week before, Portadown where slow to get into the game and Ballyclare took advantage early on to make a break and scored a try to make it 0-5 to the visitors. Portadown fought hard for the next few minutes to try and get into the game with forwards and backs linking well before the ball was moved wide to Declan Judge who stepped the Ballyclare winger, beat the fullback in the scored a try in the corner. Ballyclare fought back into the game almost instantly with Portadown failing to tackle there big ball carriers and they went in for a try to make it 5-10 to the visitors. Following the restart, Portadown had some good inter play between the forwards and the backs again and an overlap was created wide leading to Luke Ashton fixing his opponent and passing to Thomas Halliday who ran in a try from the 22 meter line making the score 10-10. Ballyclare where awarded a penalty towards the end of the first half which the kicked to the posts with bring the score to 10-13 to the visitors. In the second half, Portadown emptied the bench to bring on some fresh legs and wisdom to try and allow Portadown play their own game. The changes were effective with a try straight away from a quick ruck after a lineout, Johnny Hampton made a snipe around the fringe of the ruck and offloaded to Wayne Kelly for a try under the posts which he converted to make it 17-13 to the home side. The defensive by the home side in the second half found another gear with some massive hits going in keeping Ballyclare out. After some more effective strike moves Nick Holt scored after his centre partner Neil Macartney broke through a gap and offloaded to Nick, making it 22-13. With portadown creating more and more chances through the backline Veteran Fly Half Wayne Kelly fixed his younger looking opposite number before throwing a perfectly timed miss pass to Neil Macartney who offloads to spritely Ashton to step inside fullback and sprinted under the posts for a try and Luke kicked the extras to make it 29-13. The next try came from a scrum with portadown putting the visitors under pressure a strong carry from John Purdy, quick ball from Johnny Hampton to John Smith with some quick feet to get across for a try with Luke getting the extras making it 36-13. With not long to go Ballyclare fought hard to try and get another try with a multitude of penalties conceded by the Portadown due to ill discipline. Ballyclare broke through to score the final try of the game making it 36-20 to the home side. Portadown 3s will now focus on their next match in the McCambley cup away against Lurgan.
Ladies XV– A strong team was named for the Ladies XV quarter final as they hosted Dungannon on a cold Sunday afternoon. Portadown started strong, having to start straight into defence. A strong blue wall held the white shirts of Dungannon out as they tackled well as a team. Dungannon eventually broke through around the outside . This became a similar theme as Portadown were defending for the most of the game, against a well drilled and strong Dungannon team. Despite this, strong carries from Rachel Totten and Jennifer McCall kept Portadown in the fight.
As the game closed out, Dungannon scored another few tries, despite the home side’s best effort, leaving the final score 0-41 to the visitors. The final score did not show off the effort and commitment from each and every player on the pitch who stood up and fought for every inch.