Connemara 3 Portadown 5
As the score suggests this was a very close hard fought game in difficult conditions and up to time of kick off it was a toss up as to whether the game would go ahead or not. The pitch had a final inspection and the match officials gave the go ahead.
Despite the poor conditions Portadown, playing into the strong wind, were handling very well and were putting us to the pin of our collar to contain their many attacks. Their handling was excellent with the very wet ball and it looked like we were in for a long and difficult afternoon. Portadown continued to press but due to some fine tackling by our backs and forwards our line stayed intact. The match remained scoreless until the 28th minute when Troy Nathan put us ahead with a good penalty kick. We gave away a lot of penalties and the referee decided the next would be a sin binning with five minutes left in the first half.
Facing into the strong wind in the second half and a man down things were not looking to good but you would just have to admire the lads they way they lifted their game and put a lot of pressure on the visitors.
Although the weather was bad the home support got behind the lads and they were not to happy with the referee as the penalties continued to mount against us. Midway through the second half Aden Kelly was sent to the sin bin after another decision went against us. Still we were giving it everything we had.
With twelve minutes remaining we failed to deal with a high swirling ball and we were again penalised, quickly taken we couldn’t get our defenders in place and the visitors got in for a try.
We through everything at them in the last few minutes and a forward charge started by Frank Lenord carried on by Emmet Ferron brought play up to the Portadown line, the ball was quickly recycled but the referee got in the way with the line at our mercy.
With seconds to go Troy Nathan only missed by inches with an attempted drop goal. Portadown were a very relieved team when the ref blew the final whistle and we had to settle for a bonus point.
The only difference between the teams was that we gave away too many penalties and had two men in the sin bin. Well done to Portadown who enjoyed their visit to Connemara and had a good time in Roundstone.