Double success on home soil

PORTADOWN firsts enjoyed a bright start to see off Coleraine at Chambers Park in Saturday’s Qualifying League clash.

Conditions proved perfect and Portadown made the most of the promising pitch to attack from the first whistle.

A series of high-tempo passages of play resulted in Gary Hall displaying clever skills to step inside the defence and race home.

Chris Cousens added the conversion during what proved a strong performance by the bright prospect.

Hall, the blindside flanker, doubled his tally when the Portadown pack managed to drive over a short-range lineout for 12-0.

Coleraine’s experienced players stepped up to try and turn the tables, with one converted score cutting the tally to 12-7.

Both sets of players proved keen to run the ball when possible and Andrew Chambers fielded a clearance kick ahead of dancing past his Coleraine rivals and picking out Thomas Halliday before Diarmaid O’Kane held off two rivals to dive in the corner.

Cousens pushed beyond Coleraine soon after to drop under the posts and converted his own try as Portadown pushed clear by 24-7.

Matt Maguire and the Portadown back row managed to break the visitors’ defensive line on a number of second-half occasions, with Dave Whitten quick to intercept a loose pass and increase the tally.

Cousens proved clinical from the conversion before Coleraine cut it back to 31-12.

Rab Reid produced the game’s closing moment by crossing the line following strong play between Stuart Lamb and Whitten.

PORTADOWN fourths registered home success over Lurgan seconds by 33-10 in Saturday’s cup clash.

The Forster Cup second-round fixture featured a try for Ross Whitfield which Alan Robinson converted.

The loss of David Telford to injury left Portadown with 14 players for around 75 minutes against a Lurgan side placed in the division above the hosts.

However, Portadown worked hard to hold out under pressure then cause problems for Lurgan on the counter.

Whitfield and Robinson added another try and conversion, respectively, before half-time.

David Leckey, Stuart Lyness, Andrew Graham and Robinson produced a series of strong hits. Robinson and Graham then combined for the latter to add another try which the former converted.

Mark McBurney added to the team’s tally before Leckey gained significant ground and, eventually, produced the decisive touch for the last try.