Tough encounter for Portadown

Portadown Rugby Football Club Men’s 1st XV hosted top-of-the-table Instonians to Chamber’s Park after a weekend off last Saturday.

Wednesday, 24th November 2021, 12:07 pm

In a similar team named before the break, the Boys in Blue started positively, attacking well and bringing the game to the visitors.

This aggressive start allowed Portadown to win an early penalty, kicked by Chris Cousins.

Portadown continued this start, but a few early mistakes allowed Instonians to kick for the corners, leading to a score from their powerful maul.

Despite this, Portadown kept the pressure on and were unlucky to not score next after an extended period down in the Instonians five metre line.

The visitors scored next and this was a running theme throughout the game, unfortunately.  Strong running from the backline allowed Portadown to continue the pressure, but showing their class and rugby ability, Instonians were strong in defence and didn’t allow the home side to breach their try line, as they continued to increase their lead, through a strong maul and running back line.  

Instonians left Chamber’s Park with a 3-43 win under their belts, but there were many positives to take from the game for the Portadown side, with an important game away to CIYMS on November 27 ahead for the squad.

Portadown 2nd XV travelled to Bangor in a league fixture, and after a tough game against Cooke last weekend, Portadown were looking for a positive response. Unfortunately, the home side started quicker and stronger but Portadown defended well against a strong and larger side.

As the game continued, Portadown grew into the game but it was too little too late as the slow start meant the damage was done early, leaving the final score 26-20 to the hosts. Tries came through Luke Ashton, Jonny Hampton and Joe Orr, with Adam Speers adding a penalty and conversion.

Portadown Rugby Football Club u16s played Cavan RFC u16s in the Ulster League.

Portadown, the league leaders, suffered their first reversal of the year on Saturday morning against a well organised Cavan side. With several regulars missing due to injury or unavailability, Portadown knew they had to be at the top of their game against a side that always proves a difficult opponent.

The opening exchanges saw Portadown play some good rugby and though they enjoyed some good territory advantage, costly mistakes ensured the scoreboard wasn’t threatened. 

Cavan played simple rugby, and, crucially, were making fewer mistakes which allowed them to take play into the Portadown half. From there they scored two tries from some distance out from the Portadown line due to costly missed tackles. Indeed, they were unlucky not to score at least one more try having created the space to do so, only to knock the ball forward. At Half Time  the score was Portadown 0 – 12 Cavan

Portadown started the second half well and it was they who scored next with the pack taking the ball close to the line for Dainton Walker to get the touch down, which was converted.

At this point in the game, it looked like Portadown would press on with hopes of winning, however, the same issues that had plagued them in the first half returned as the weather deteriorated. To their credit, Portadown never stopped trying to play and pressed the Cavan line once again, however, two yellow cards meant they had to play the bulk of the half with only fourteen men.

Cavan sealed their win with another soft score allowed by Portadown to leave the final score 17-7 to Cavan. 

The loss still leaves Portadown at the top of the league and the title is still in their own hands to win, however, they have two very tough opponents left to play.

Head coach Mathew Potts was philosophical in his appraisal of the result: “We never really got into our stride at any point today and credit has to go to Cavan for the win which they deserved.

“This result will test the character in this side and its how they react that is the most important thing.

“This just wasn’t our day, and that happens to even the best sides. We look forward now to our next game in two weeks.”

Schools Round Up

A disappointing morning for the Portadown College 1st XV who lost a tight game with Banbridge Academy 15-7. Too many mistakes and an inability to retain possession cost the boys valuable possession and territory throughout the game.

The 2nd XV beat Banbridge Academy 32-0 in the 1st Round of the 2nd XV Schools Cup. Try scorers Daniel Hunter 1, Malachi Bridgewater 3, John McQuitty 1.

Craigavon Senior High School Medallion (U15) team won 26-24 against Belfast High School in round 1 of the Medallion Shield.

The game was a closely fought contest with both teams pushing hard for tries. The high school’s forward had the best of the exchanges upfront with Alfonso leading the driving play.

Belfast High had speed out wide and when they were able to move the ball caused the Craigavon backs difficult defence. But the team never stopped working and this was the difference in the end to give the Senior High this 1st Round game.

Tries - Alfonso x2, Jacob, Armandas Conversions Tyler x3. Player of the Match - Alfonso

Round 2 is due to be played before December 4 against Bangor Academy

Craigavon Senior High School U16 team beat Castlederg High School 17-7 in the High School Competition. This is a competition that the high school has been dominant in over the years before lockdown. The boys were determined to make sure this campaign got off to a good start. Led by players like Dainton and Patyrk the team pushed Castlederg hard.

It was a solid performance in very difficult conditions, however, home advantage helped the Craigavon team and they were comfortable winners in the end. They await to find out who they play in the next round.

Tries from Dainton Walker, Patyrk and James. Dainton Walker also secured one conversion.

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