REPORT + SHOTS Clogher Valley 1s v Portadown 1s

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Clogher Valley 17 Portadown 0
The men from the Valley entertained Portadown on Friday night, a departure from the norm that was well supported and generally well accepted. With the return of Andy Breen and Aaron Best from long term injuries the management team had the rare luxury of playing with almost a full deck. The stop, start, nature of the Clogher season so far has understandably meant that a lack of fluency was at times evident. The Tyrone side dominated the opening exchanges, particularly the set pieces, but found it difficult to get the early breakthrough their play deserved. The rejuvenated Ryan Wilson was in the thick of everything that was positive as Clogher strived to open their account. A Holme penalty to the corner set up a great opportunity but a resulting knock-on let the visitors of the hook. Several lineout steals by Sharkey kept the pressure on but the Portadown defence was more than up to the Clogher advances. Eventually on the half hour mark the pressure finally was rewarded. Ryan Wilson barged over for the opening try to give the home support something to cheer. It went unconverted but it did give Clogher a slight edge as the interval approached.
The opening exchanges of the second period belonged to the visitors. The Valleys only league defeat at the ‘Cran’ in the previous four seasons was at the hands of Portadown and their early second half onslaught threatened a repeat of that trick. A long range penalty rebounded of an upright and almost caught Clogher napping but they recovered and defended stoically for a while. After fifteen minutes Holme broke the siege with a huge clearance kick that effectively ended Portadowns chances. Clogher would go on to dominate thereafter with the ‘grunt brigade’ in charge of most aspects of play. Best who had replaced Trotter struck a great box kick that the Portadown defence had to scramble into touch. Now it was the coaches’ turn to shine. A well-rehearsed catch and drive routine saw the Valley surge forward for Falconer to get the all-important touch down. It went unconverted but Portadown now needed two scores to get back on terms. Play ebbed and flowed with Clogher in control of the set pieces but playing second fiddle to Portadown at the breakdown areas. The Valley second rowers McKenna and Treanor showed an unquenchable thirst for work and were evident all over the park. Treanors ball carrying was a huge positive to his side as the clock ticked towards the eighty. Another Holme penalty was arrowed into the corner and again the work in the training paddock was rewarded. A Sharkey take followed by a controlled drive resulted in Falconer getting his second touchdown which Holme then goaled to wrap up proceedings.
Any victory over Portadown is hard earned and most welcome. Now Clogher have to repeat that feat next week when they travel to Chambers Park to meet the same opposition in the quarter-final of the Junior Cup…… CLICK HERE for Shots !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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