Leaders brush past Ballymoney

PORTADOWN eased past Ballymoney at Chambers Park with a controlled performance on Saturday towards success by 31-0.

The Qualifying League leaders enjoyed the upper hand on home soil, with the Chambers Park playing surface proving impressive despite such heavy rainfall.

Ballymoney looked sharp early on before Portadown’s experienced pack claimed control of proceedings.

After mauling a lineout around 30 yards, David Whitten crossed over with a dive.

Chris Cousens posted the additional points and the lead increased moments later thanks to several strong phases around the pitch. Darren Pepper eventually released Andrew Chambers and the latter’s powerful run resulted in an unconverted try.

Portadown’s added experience came into play as the match progressed.

Stuart Lamb produced a captain’s performance to push Portadown clear by 17-0 against spirited Ballymoney.

Ballymoney pressure failed to close the gap before Whitten enjoyed the benefits of a quick tap to race past three rivals and pick out the supporting Diarmaid O’Kane. Cousens was on hand to convert.

Rab McClean - in for the unavailable Mark Neilly - produced a fine score by helping push back Ballymoney before Lamb wrapped up victory with a try converted by Cousens.

PORTADOWN fourths enjoyed success by 47-10 on Saturday against Monaghan.

Keith Boyce - boosted by support from his son, Max, on the sidelines - registered a first-half hat-trick of tries.

Peter Keightly and Alan Robinson also finished with a try apiece, plus the latter posted the extra points on six occasions from seven attempts.

Late points arrived as Portadown pushed hard to increase the margin of victory.