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Murray claims treble as Braidmen are crushed

By Ronnie Ingram

Portadown IV lead Junior League 6 after a resounding 75-5 victory away to Ballymoney IV.

The Ports have already amassed an impressive tally of 240 points in their first five games and head the table with 10 points although Ballymena V, who didn't play on Saturday, are also undefeated and are two points adrift.

The Chambers Park team have introduced former Gaelic players Brian Laverty and Eimeid Murray to their line-up this year and both have excelled in only their first season playing the game.

Laverty is a forceful centre while Murray is in the back row.

The other centre Brian Murray showed his skills on Saturday with three tries while their captain and No 8 Keith Boyce, who was involved with the firsts a number of years ago is in his second season as skipper and brings a wealth of experience.

Adam McGlue has returned e after a number of years on the sidelines and made his presence felt in the second row.

The visitors were 14 points ahead after the first quarter with tries from Laverty and Murray for Ross Whitfield to convert.

A wayward pass from out-half Whitfield was then intercepted and Ballymoney's Peter Elliott dashed in to reduce the arrears.

Portadown forward pressure resulted in Boyce crashing over for his fourth of the season.

Eimeid Murray was next to score and before the interval Brian Murray touched down for two more with Phil Caldwell scoring a solo effort try in between. Whitfield added the points to one to give them a 41-5 lead.

Portadown continued the trend after the restart and kept playing free flowing rugby while ignoring many opportunities to kick penalties.

After many phases Colin Robb broke through for tight head prop Gary Elliott to score.

Hooker Darren Thompson had a try converted by Murray and then Robb cut through again to put Whitfield in at the corner.

McGlue gathered and ran through the defence to score his first try in Portadown colours to make the score 65-5.

Ballymoney did their best to come back into the contest but their energy and confidence had wilted

Eventually, after 10 phases Geoff Caldwell made ground and popped the ball inside to the ever improving Whitfield who scored. Later Caldwell rounded the defence to go in for the 13th.

Portadown IV meet Ballymena V on Saturday week and the result of that encounter may well give an indication of where the title will end up.

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