Ballynahinch 76pts Portadown 12pts
John Dickson Reports From Ballymacarn Park
The Hinch entertained Portadown in an evening fixture last Friday night and ran out comfortable winners in a fairly one-sided contest.
The visitors took the lead in the 2nd minute after the Hinch spilled the ball going forward, Portadown reacting quickly to counter attack, sending scrum half Jonny Hampton over in the left hand corner. The conversion by Colin Lawson was missed leaving the visitors with a 0-5 lead.
Three minutes later the Hinch equalised after good work from Stuart Morrow put Michael Graham in beside the posts. Ryan Bambry added the extras to put the Hinch in front 7-5.
A good run by Robert Greer in the 13th minute led to the second Hinch try, Greer carried the ball to within 5 metres. The quick ball was fired right with the home side four men in the clear, Stuart Morrow sprinting in for the try, which Bambry converted to take the score to 14-5.
Aaron Ferris created the third Hinch try in the 15th minute. The Hinch winger made good ground down the left flank before feeding inside to Ryan Bambry in close support. Play was quickly recycled with tight head Richard Orr picking up then stepping inside the cover defence for a well worked try, which went unconverted to give the Hinch a 19-5 lead.
A catch and drive from a 5-metre lineout in the 20th minute secured the bonus point. Michael Graham getting the touch down, and Bambry converted giving the Hinch a 26-5 advantage.
Fives minutes later Robert Greer crossed under the posts for the fifth try following good work by Jonny Graham, this try was converted by Bambry to increase the Hinch lead to 33-5.
Portadown scored a second try out wide on the right in the 30th minute after the Hinch defence had fallen asleep. The try was converted by Lawson to leave the visitors trailing 33-12.
Aaron Ferris ran in the sixth Hinch try in the 35th minute when he out paced the Portadown cover following good work for the home pack. Bambry converted to take his side 40-12 clear.
On the stroke of half time the Hinch scored their seventh try, this time Stuart Morrow powered his way clear to cross just right of the posts, Bambry adding the extras to take the Hinch into a comfortable 47-12 halftime lead.
Hinch started the second half with a bang, Stuart Morrow sprinting in for the eighth home try which went unconverted 52-12.
The home side went to sleep for the next 15 minutes and Portadown managed to get back into the game although they never threatened the Hinch line. The County Down men notched up their ninth try in the 58th minute Stuart Morrow was put clear again, this time Chris Stevenson was the provider with Morrow touching down behind the posts. Harry McAleese converted taking the Hinch 59-12 clear.
The tenth try had a bit of everything; it started with a blind side break by Michael Graham the quick ball was fired to McAleese who put in a crossfield kick, which was collected on the full by Aaron Ferris. Ferris drew the last man then passed outside for Jonny Cullen to cross in the corner. McAleese failed to convert as the Hinch lead increased to 64-12.
Hinch had to fight hard for their next score, taking the ball through a number of phases they eventually worked it over to the right hand corner where Aaron Ferris crossed for the eleventh try which went unconverted. 69-12.
Michael Graham had the final say of the evening when he battled his way over for try number twelve in the 75th minute. When McAleese converted referee Michael Black blew for full time the Hinch winning 76-12.
It is back down to earth with a bump this weekend as the Hinch will travel to Anglesea Road in Dublin to play league leaders Old Belvedere in their penultimate league game of the season. The Hinch need to get something out of this encounter, every single point is vital. The club hope that a large travelling support will make their way to Dublin on Saturday to get behind the team. Their final game of the season will be at home to Ulster rivals Ballymena on the 10th April.