Portadown RFC Notes: I XV 10 v CIYMS RFC I XV 13

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League Leaders Portadown visited CIYMS on Saturday hoping to continue their unbeaten run at the top of Section 1 of the Kukri qualifying league. In an amazing start, CI were 5-0 up within 20 seconds. From the kick off the Portadown Pack gathered well and set up a maul. Home scrum half Michael Wilson charged down and gathered his opposite numbers attempted clearance kick and scampered 35 yards to score in the corner. Outhalf David O’Hara was just wide with the conversion ,leaving Portadown 5-0 down with just over a minute on the clock. This was to be one of the Home teams rare forays into the Portadown 22. The Ports kicked off and immediately putting pressure on the CI defence which yielded a penalty in front of the posts. The Portadown captain scorned the points and elected to take the scrum on a number of occasions however CI somehow managed to prevent their more powerful opponents from scoring. Eventually Portadown took the sensible option and David Whitten converted a penalty to make the score 5-3. Portadown resumed where they left off, back in the CI half and managed to squander a number of clear cut try scoring opportunities. Despite having a player sent to the sin bin the spirited CI defence held strong. O’Hara had an opportunity to extend the CI lead deep into the first half but missed an easy opportunity in front of the posts.
The second half continued in the same vain though CI managed to hold on. O’Hara then extended the lead with a long range penalty when a high tackle by David Whitten was penalised. They extended their lead when a attempted off load by Portadown skipper Stuart Lamb didn’t go to hand and the ball was picked up by the left winger who ran all of 50 yards to touch down in the corner. O’Hara was off target with the extras leaving CI 13-5 in front. Portadown were begging to rue their missed scoring opportunities but another CI infringement gave them a chance to kick themselves into position. From the resultant lineout, second row Darren Pepper was mauled over. Whitten added the conversion to leave the visitors trailing 13-10. The Ports again upped the intensity of their play and again it was the last pass that let them down on 3 or 4 occasions with the CI line at their mercy. The game finished out with a series of lineouts on the CIYMS line as Portadown pushed for the all elusive winning score. Final Score 13-10 to CIYMS. High flying Portadown will be annoyed at the lack of killer instinct they displayed. CI however will be delighted at the level of commitment they showed defensively and how they took their opportunities to score when they arose.

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