On the day of club President, Alex Morton’s 60th birthday, Dromore delivered an impressive victory against Portadown in less than ideal conditions.
Dromore took the game to their visitors from the kick off through the forward pack making hard yards.
An early penalty from John Russell gave Dromore a 3-0 lead.
The home side looked to keep it tight at every chance, only throwing it wide when they had a clear overlap. Scrum half John Russell took advantage of weak Portadown defence around the fringes of the ruck but was bundled into touch on the 10m line.
Portadown had a chance to level the scores with a penalty just inside the Dromore half but the attempt was unsuccessful. The resulting drop out was kicked straight into touch and the pressure continued for the visitors.
Dromore were defending resolutely and a knock on eventually eased the pressure. A dominant Portadown scrum twisted Dromore’s through 45 degrees to win the put in and eventually won a penalty which once again put the home side under pressure.
After several penalties at scrum time, the referee awarded a penalty try. The conversion was also successful to take the score to 7-3.
Strong running from Ryan Hughes and Andy Black helped return Dromore’s field position. An unfortunate knock on stopped them in their tracks.
A failed clearance gave the ball back to Dromore and allowed the home side to play in the opposition 22 when against the wind. Hughes atoned for his earlier knock on and bundled his way over for Dromore’s first try on the brink of half time, 10-7.
Portadown had one final attack, but an excellent turn over from Adam McGregor won Dromore the penalty which was kicked into touch for half time.
At the start of the second half, pressure from Dromore resulted Portadown’s second row being sent to the sin bin. Dromore couldn’t sustain the pressure as they were pinged for going off their feet.
John Cullen made a break on half way and hacked forward but didn’t have the gas to finish. Nevertheless, Dromore pressurised and won territory in a good position after a scuffed kick.
After good ball retention, Dromore bundled over once again this time through prop, George Wilson. The conversion was unsuccessful but extended the lead out to 15-7.
A trip on full back Adam McDonald gave Dromore a good opportunity to score once again. The lineout ball was retained and Andy Black powered over for Dromore’s third try. The conversion from Russell hit the post. 20-7.
Portadown received their second sin bin when their number 8 was pinged for persistent infringing. John Russell and Adam McDonald continued to pin Portadown back on their own line with excellent kicking, but they couldn’t make use of the presented platform. Portadown struggled to get any field position in the second half until it was too little too late.
As the game reached the conclusion, Portadown were camped on the Dromore line, but the defence stood strong. Great hits from Black and Colin McGregor stopped the visitors in their tracks before Aaron Stewart won a vital penalty to seal a deserved victory. 20-7 to Dromore.