Basics mistakes on afternoon of frustration away from home

Richard Hedley.
Richard Hedley.
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A drop in basics provided the backdrop to Portadown firsts’ weekend defeat at Omagh across the Qualifying League.

Frustration on and off the pitch at referee decisions added to the disruption as Portadown finished down by 18-5.

It proved a blow towards ambitions of securing a top-four finish in league play - and a negative result as part of preparations for the weekend Towns’ Cup tie at Clogher Valley.

“It was a frustrating afternoon and one when the small things seemed to go against us, although that should not excuse the players completely from a below-par performance,” said Portadown head coach Richard Hedley. “You could see the players growing frustrated with each other and at the referee, plus it was the same for me on the side of the pitch.

“But when you do not do the basics then you pay the price.

“It was a rubbish game of rugby and our passing and kicking proved poor, plus we dropped too much ball.

“It was a setback towards our hopes of cementing a top-four finish and qualifying for the All-Ireland Cup.

“However, traditionally after a poor performance we bounce back in the next game and need a big team display to get past Clogher Valley in the Towns’ Cup on Saturday.”

Weekend teamsheets:

Firsts v Clogher Valley (Towns’ Cup, away, kick-off 2.30): M.Wilson, R.Reid, M.Neilly, J.Carlton, W.Graham, G.Hall, AN.Other, G.McCoy, B.Forestal, D.Tully, J.Orr, J.Holden, C.Cousens, R.Purvis, A.Morton, M.Henderson, M.Allister.

Thirds v Academy (league, home, kick-off 2.30): G.Cauldwell, D.Cornett, R.McClean, P.Keightley, C.Dunne, S.Lynas, J.Elliott, S.Lamb, G.McCullagh, S.Hamilton, R.Davis, B.Main, D.Harpur, R.Davis, AN.Other, RJ.Greenlee, N.Davison.

Fourths v Belfast Harlequins (league, home, kick-off 2.30): W.Craig, AN.Other, C.Armatage, E.Murray, W.Newell, K.McQuaid, J.Leckey, J.Hampton, J.Matthews, C.McCann, K.Anderson, A.Morton, J.McKeever, B.Kerr.