Set piece struggles in loss for Bann Seconds

Rugby update
Rugby update
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A powerful scrummaging display from the Portadown pack paved the way for a comfortable win and a place in the second round of the Towns’ Cup.

Chris Cousins’ seventh minute penalty opened the visitors’ account but Bann hit back to spend time in the opposition “22”, eventually winning a penalty.

Robin Thompson kicked to the corner to set up a scoring opportunity from a five metre lineout.

The defence held firm from the resultant lineout and at the scrum that ensued where Bann were penalised.

This was a foretaste of what was to follow for the remainder of the match.

A second penalty opportunity gave Thompson a shot at goal but his effort sailed over an upright and Portadown launched an attack off the “22” drop-out.

The back row was well up in support of a threequarter move and Diarmuid O’Kane’s strong run took play into the home “22” where his pass put fellow-flanker Gary Hall in for the opening try, with Cousins striking over the extras.

At 0-10 down Bann were still looking competitive but two penalty tries in a ten minute spell left the home side facing a 24 point deficit from which there was no way back.

Both came as a result of that strong Portadown set piece with Bann unable to legally resist the shove put on at the five metre scrum and Cousins had the easy task of slotting over the conversions.

Left winger Jack Orr scampered in for his side’s fourth try at the start of the second half before Bann were able to pick up their first points, courtesy of Thomas Carlisle.

The replacement prop added the finishing touch to a five metre lineout and drive.

A loose kick was fielded by Orr just outside the home “22” and he doubled his try tally as he scorched in to touch down in the corner for a 5-36 lead.

The loss of a second Bann prop to injury resulted in uncontested scrums for the closing stages of the game.

No 8 Andy Brown was able to force his way over from a set piece five metres out for a try which Thompson bettered.

It gave the scoreline some respectability for a home side which battled hard throughout but was too often on the back foot because of the visitors’ dominance at scrum time.