Portadown see off Ballymoney in Junior Cup

A Portadown attack is stopped by a resolute Ballymoney defence. Photo by Uel McDowell
A Portadown attack is stopped by a resolute Ballymoney defence. Photo by Uel McDowell

In a break from the league, Portadown 1st XV travelled to Ballymoney for their Junior Cup clash.

Portadown named a strong team but due to a late injury in the backs meaning a late shuffle to put Jordan Taylor in the centre and Aaron Abraham to second row.

Ballymoney centre, Thomas Hunter, gets ready to tackle the Portadown outhalf. Photo by Uel McDowell

Ballymoney centre, Thomas Hunter, gets ready to tackle the Portadown outhalf. Photo by Uel McDowell

Despite this last minute change, Portadown started strong, with Willie Gram scoring in the first few minutes after some good work from the forwards, with the try converted by centre Mark Adamson. Ballymoney responded with a penalty, two tries, and Lloyd Gravatt in the sin bin.

Portadown lost prop Matthew Davison to a leg injury, but despite this, they used their strength in the scrum over Ballymoney the only option for the ref was to award a penalty try, leaving the score at half time 17-14 to Ballymoney.

Ballymoney scored again after half-time leaving the score 25-14, and Portadown with a lot of work to do. They responded to this pressure well, with Brett Flack at flyhalf linking well with rest of the backs, especially Luke Ashton who scored next, with the try converted by Adamson.

The forwards also attacked well, with hooker Robert Reid and second row James Wright running good lines into the defence, making good metres into the gainline.

Portadown kept the pressure on straight after the kick off with some powerful running down the wing from Nick Holt, who was dangerous all day in attack, allowed Lloyd Gravatt power over and score, making the score 25-28 with 10 minutes to go. And despite some pressure from Ballymoney, Portadown had the final say of the game with Stuart Lamb touching down after a good lineout maul and pick and go, leaving the final score to be 35-25 after the conversion from Adamson.

Portadown Seconds match against Grosvenor was brought to an abrupt end ten minutes into the game following the serious injury to Ports player Breffni Tighe. The big second row looked to have found an opening only to be hauled down by two scrambling defenders. In a cruel twist of fate the promising player sustained a horrific compound fracture of the tibia and fibula in the ensuing tackle and the game was immediately halted.

Given the severity of the injury and the time taken for treatment to be administered on the pitch by the paramedics and air ambulance crew it was agreed between both teams to postpone the game. Portadown RFC would like to thank the Grosvenor players and staff for their support during the incident and their exemplary conduct and the paramedics and air ambulance crew for their care to the player and the important work they do every day. The club and all its members wish Breffni a full and speedy recovery and look forward to him returning to play for the club in the near future.

Portadown Under-16s started their league campaign with a 57-12 victory over Omagh.

Coaches where happy to register the first league win of the season, there was a lot of players who stood out during the game, but Man of the Match this week was Jack Dang for his all round performance in both attack and defence, well done Jack.

Portadown College and Rainey Endowed played out an exciting game for the Vinny Doyle Memorial Cup which was won by Portadown College by 26-22 with the last play of the game.

With the last play of this exciting game Portadown got their hands on the Vinny Doyle Trophy when Jordan McAteer scorched in for an unconverted try.