Semi-final spot and league points the reward thanks to double-header joy

Sunday, 28th February 2016, 6:00 am
Ryan Purvis making a challenge at Chambers Park in the weekend victory for Portadown firsts against Ards.

The added lift of league success arrived alongside the 31-15 scoreline.

Geoff Caldwell, Robert Dougan, Chris Dunn and David Harpur each posted tries - with Stan Hamilton on target thanks to a drop goal and four conversions.

Early pressure produced success from the scrum and lineout play as stand-in skipper Caldwell made his mark to open the scoring before Harpur crossed the line.

Queen’s hit back with two tries to take control on the scoreboard. However, Portadown responded with Dougan posting a try.

Alan Harra clocked up some big hits, with Peter Keightley impressive driving forward and Dunn eventually forcing a path over the line.

Keightley was selected as the ‘man-of-the-match’ winner.

Portadown seconds registered back-to-back wins over Cavan to maintain a lead at the head of the standings.

Cavan gained an early lead before Thomas Johnston found a gap and Niall Davison posted the conversion.

Another Johnston try arrived but the free-scoring fixture also featured Cavan on target.

Fine build-up play produced a chance for John Graham to add another try and the alert Davison secured the bonus point before the break for a 26-20 lead.

The second half proved a blank on the scoresheet to provide Portadown with victory at the final whistle thanks to determined defensive work.

Davison was the ‘man-of-the-match’ winner and thanks go to Shelbourne Motors for sponsorship support.

Portadown firsts finished clear by 38-12 to serve up a Qualifying League boost in pursuit of a strong finish to the season.

Ards arrived at Chambers Park aiming to add another defeat to the town seniors’ tally in the aftermath of the previous fixture’s Towns’ Cup exit.

However, Diarmaid O’Kane set the standard as captain with an early try before Chris Cousens pushed the advantage to 12-0.

Aaron Morton was rewarded for his fine individual play with a try converted by Cousens as Portadown entered half-time with a 19-0 lead.

Ards hit back but Ryan Purvis capped Willie Graham’s strong play with another town score and Andrew Chambers celebrated his return from injury by making it 31-7.

Neil Irwin closed out the scoring with a late try.