REPORTS Donaghadee RFC 2nd XV and 3rd XV v Portadown 2nd XV and Bangor 3rd XV

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The Dee 2nd XV headed to Portadown with a very young side sprinkled with just a couple of older heads. Unfortunately Portadown took a very early lead after an exit kick was charged down and touched down for the first score. However, displaying the character this team showed last season, they began to fight their way into the game and on 14 minutess after good control from the pack centre Andy Mitchell broke through to score with the extras taken the Dee now led 7-5.

From the restart the Dee didn’t get any real control on the ball and with fierce competition at the breakdown from a huge Portadown pack and support from their two young centres – who were to be the thorn in the sides of the Dee men the entire game – they turned defence into attack and scored a second try. The Dee again stuck at it with Captain Stephen Cullen leading the likes of Adam Torrens, Phil Collins and Sam Ingham working hard with and without the ball. Sadly they lost Sam shortly after this to an injury which was to impact on the rest of the game. With the team adjusting to the change Portadown scored again and added the conversion. But once again the Dee came back this time Cullen scoring beside the posts after quick ball from several phases had the home team all at sea. With the Chambers Park men scoring right on half time the score was 29-14 at the break.

Going into the second half and with some of the Dee men picking up knocks, Portadown struck again through their hard running centres. For the next twenty minutes the young men in red and green did superbly well and took the game to the home team through Tommy Scullion and a mobile and aggressive back row now of Chris Scott, Matty Johnston and ex-Portadown man Jonny Stewart. With tiring bodies the knocks continued to build and young winger Niall McGrattan, who probably was having his best game to date, was continually cramping in both calves Portadown took complete control and ran out comfortable winners. Final score 53-14

Sometimes we have to to look beyond the scoresheet and this was one of those occasions. With Robbie Ingham playing at scrum-half doing very well, Andy Cash now back after work commitments preventing him from training or playing for a more than month, Dicky Bailey now starting to gain in confidence and the “old” head at the age of 28 Co-Captain Davey Kirkpatrick in the centre this team will only improve over the next‎ match or two.


A thrilling encounter at Donaldson Park last Saturday saw the local visitors leave with the points to push them to the top of Minor League rugby. With a few 3s front row regulars off globe-trotting, a few unavailable due to work front row heroes of days gone by – Andrew Drummond and Noel Angus found it in their hearts to dust off their old kit bags and come to the rescue along with youngsters Robin McMurray and DRFC debutant Aaron Caughey. Shortly after kick-off a great solo effort from the Dee Number 10 Doherty saw him chip over the Bangor winger and even more remarkably won the foot race to the corner to dot down. The eager Bangor lads came straight back with a similar score in the bottom corner- however as the visitors were celebrating the score the referee had chosen to award a 22 drop out to the home side. On the 25 minute mark North Down’s favourite Fijian Sirelli went galloping through midfield and offloaded to the Bangor winger who stretched his legs to score to the right of the posts. Kick successful and the Dee were behind by 7-5. Some penetrating runs from back rowers Ellingham and Hutchinson made good yards and the ever present Jarvis was finding gaps out wide but the Bangor defence held out – until the 39th minute when a Monson penalty sent the Dee into the break 8-7 ahead. The second half saw the Dee men start to struggle for fitness and niggling injuries with a number of players having to leave the field- most of which were dragged back on when someone else fell! Another relatively even 40 minutes saw Bangor score to go 12-8 ahead and show some disciplined defence to hold out for the win.

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