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Confidence boosting victory for Portadown in first round of Cup


By Ronnie Ingram

Portadown qualified for the second round of the Millar, McCall Wylie Junior Cup with an easier than anticipated 60-0 victory over Ballymena II.

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"We had four vital players back and Ballymena were a bit light but we played well to win," observed home coach Richard Hedley.

"In the last couple of games we were disappointing at times but this effort was much better and will give us much needed confidence."

Four senior clubs' seconds were eliminated, the most surprising being the defeat of Armagh II at Lisburn 33-28.

Banbridge II were beaten at Limavady 50-5 and Ballymoney recorded a 21-19 success at Omagh II. In the remaining tie Dromore beat Enniskillen 29-15.

Ulster kept in the Under 19 Inter-Provincial title chase with a bonus point 33-17 win over Connacht, but to claim the championship would need to defeat Leinster with a bonus point at Newforge on Saturday and hope Munster lose to Connacht.

This scenario is most unlikely as Munster have home advantage and Connacht have also been trounced by Leinster 31-7.

There was a fantastic effort by Ulster at Bangor Grammar after the disappointing 34-22 defeat in Munster. They cruised to a 21-0 interval lead with two tries from Methody out-half Thomas Armstrong and one by flanker Ryan O'Neill, all converted by Conor Rankin.

In the second period Ulster had further tries from prop Robbie Mathers and Joel Dundas with Rankin converting the latter.

In the other game Leinster edged out Munster 24-21.

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