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John on the money at Ravenhill

John Davidson from Portadown celebrates his winning kick at Ravenhill with, from left, Jenny McBride (BT staff), 'Sparky' and Claire Kearns (BT staff).

John Davidson from Portadown celebrates his winning kick at Ravenhill with, from left, Jenny McBride (BT staff), 'Sparky' and Claire Kearns (BT staff).

A push of a button and swipe of a foot led to Portadown teenager John Davidson walking away from Ravenhill on Friday night with a £2,500 cheque.

The 19-year-old student only opted to pick up a ticket just days before Ulster’s game against Connacht and it proved a spur-of-the-moment decision he will remember for the rest of his life.

John was selected at random - after hitting ‘retweet’ on a Twitter competition - to try his hand at the BT Crossbar Challenge. His successful kick from the 22-metre line was celebrated by a crowd of almost 14,000.

“I couldn’t believe it when someone made contact regarding taking part in the BT Crossbar Challenge,” said John. “I was one of five people selected in front of basically a full house at Ravenhill, with the cash going to the first successful kick against the bar.

“I was placed third, which seemed ideal as I felt the first would have all the pressure but obviously lower down would reduce the chances of success.

“We were told to wear boots so I stood up and made a decent connection then watched as it bounced off the face of the bar.

“I think I was still in disbelief for a few moments then put my arms in the air to celebrate.

“The supporters were cheering away and I even had people asking for my autograph after but it probably did not sink in until I got home.”

John has no immediate plans on how to spend the cash.

“I had to borrow a rugby ball and kicking tee off a friend for some practice the night before and only made two hits during a good solid 45 minutes of practice,” he said. “Then we got stuck in traffic on the way to the match and I almost missed meeting up in time for the competition.

“I had to leave the car and run the final half-mile stretch to Ravenhill, although it all worked out well in the end.”

 

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