Portadown over 35s travelled to County Kerry last weekend to play Castleisland RFC over 35s.
Geoff Caldwell captained the side with his younger brother Andy lining out as the skipper of the opposition and it was the elder brother whose team sneaked through with a close fought victory.
With a front row of Caldwell, Aaron Murtagh and Gareth Bickers, the away side forced pressure at the set pieces and in the engine room Chris Dunn and Peter Keightley had their usual industrious games.
Six of the side play every Saturday for Portadown 3rd xv and this allowed for some consistency in the line outs. The back row of Simon May, David Thompson and Mark Parker worked tirelessly and the break downs witnessed the physicality of a Munsterv Ulster clash. Peter Spence at nine had an excellent game and he received the man of the match award for his game management and huge tackle count. Stan Hamilton had his usual steady game at ten and Diarmuid O’Kane playing in the centre was the go to man and he continually crashed the ball into the opposition. His centre partner Paddy Connolly showed his experience as he created space at ease to allow the wingers Nicky Jackson and Declan Judge to attack into the space behind the opposition defensive line. Alan Robinson at full back also had an excellent game and his strategic kicking and line breaks were a constant nuisance for the home side.
The home team scored the first try after good possession by the opposition pack. However Stan Hamilton soon levelled the scores with a great chip and chase and he collected to score the only try for the visitors. Portadown started the best in the second half with good work by Kane which got them into the attacking 22. Their wing forward slowed the ball down illegally and Hamilton stepped up to add 3 more points and with the score holding out, he scored all the points and was a close contender for man of the match.
Portadown would like to thank Derry’s Transport for their generous sponsorship of tour kit and all the tour party was delighted with the tour apparel.
On 30th April 25 players and officials from the club will travel to France for a short tour and they will play two matches against CJF Fleury and RC Orleans.