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Clogher Valley left waving the flag for Ulster in All-Ireland Cup

By Ronnie Ingram

Published 14/11/2016

Clogher Valley are Ulster's only representatives in the All-Ireland Junior Cup semi-finals after a remarkable 15-8 away victory over Portadown.

The Tyrone men have had a dismal start to their Kukri Division One campaign and are yet to win a game, but they shone in the cup quarter-final to join Leinster trio Enniscorthy, Ashbourne and DLSP in the last four.

Valley recalled experienced duo Matty Robinson and David Sharkey into their pack and had the better of the forward exchanges.

They led 15-0 at one stage but could have been further ahead had they been more clinical. Portadown fought back in the second period, especially after Valley were twice shown a yellow card, but the visitors held on for a deserved victory.

Their tries came from second row forwards Eugene McKenna and Robinson, with scrum-half Neil Trotter converting one and adding a penalty. The home side had an Andrew Chambers try and a Chris Cousins penalty.

Holders Enniscorthy beat Ballyclare 31-13 but the margin did not reflect the tightness of the contest in Co Wexford.

With eight minutes remaining, the Antrim team were still in contention at 17-13 down but conceded two late converted tries as they piled forward.

After an early Corthy try against the run of play, the visitors reduced the deficit to one point with two Robbie Reid penalties. The home team opened up a 17-6 lead but Ballyclare kept forcing the pace and their reward was a James Greer converted try. But with time running out, late tries ended their hopes.

Elsewhere, Ashbourne defeated Bandon 33-8 and DLSP were 39-22 winners over Galbally.

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