BANGOR 21 PORTADOWN 12
Kukri Section Two side, Bangor, pulled off the biggest shock of the opening round of this season’s Powerade Ulster Towns’ Cup on Tuesday night.
In the remaining outstanding game from the first round, one of the favourites and current Kukri Section One leaders, Portadown, suffered a surprise exit.
Bangor, who currently lie second in Section Two and are looking to get back to the top league in junior rugby, certainly put down a marker of their credentials in this season’s Towns’ Cup.
Within two minutes of the Portadown kick-off, Bangor attacked a loose ball and a kick through saw Jason Morgan chase and score under the posts. The extras were added for a 7-0 lead.
After seven minutes, steady build-up by Bangor led to a drop goal opportunity which Jason Morgan took well for a 10-0 advantage.
On 25 minutes a great break by Jason Morgan before off-loading to Chris Morgan looked good for a try, but was high tackled by the Portadown openside who was sent to the bin. Jason Morgan further punished the offence by slotting over another penalty and the visitors were stunned as they went 13-0 behind.
Just before half time Bangor’s Mike Aspley was yellow carded for going off his feet at a ruck, but it was probably more as a result of the persistent penalties Bangor were conceding at the time.
Within 10 minutes of the second half, Bangor won their lineout just inside the Portadown ‘22’. The clean take was protected well, the pack drove Portadown back over their own line before Curtis Stewart scored. The conversion was missed but the Seasiders now had a respectable looking 18 points advantage.
After another 15 minutes Portadown turned over a missed pass by Bangor and chased up the right wing. The ball eventually came to their prop who slipped the tackles to score. The difficult conversion was added for 18-7.
Then a brilliant break by the Portadown outhalf split the Bangor line before passing to the left winger who scored in corner. The conversion attempt came off an upright.
Portadown now chasing the game at 18-12, made mistakes and conceded penalties. From one of these, Jason Morgan kicked the points to make it 21-12.
With only a few minutes remaining, Bangor denied Portadown any meaningful possession and closed out the game to record a memorable victory.
The second round draw, due to be made on Tuesday, January 15, is awaited with interest.