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Schools’ Cup: Portadown College 5 Dalriada 24

Portadown were unable to repeat their gallant victory over Wellington College as they crashed out of the Schools’ Cup at the hands of Dalriada.

Dalriada only led by seven points at the half-way stage after Johnny McMullan burst past a couple of defenders to go in at the right hand side for John Laughlin to convert.

McMullan again showed his burst of speed for his second try when he outpaced the opposition for Laughlin to again goal.

Portadown didn't give up, but had to defend more and more as the tie progressed as Dalriada began to make good use of their possession.

Portadown matched them up front, but their three-quarters were much sharper and started to create many scoring chances.

The next came when the ball was moved to the right for Jack Magee to score in the corner, but Portadown fought back and were rewarded for their efforts shortly afterwards.

With eight minutes remaining and following a quickly taken penalty full-back Michael Busby gathered and ran in from 40 metres for an unconverted try. Dalriada added to their league through a Laughlin penalty.

Andrew Symington, the Portadown coach felt his team gave away a couple of tries.

“After that we were in a catch-up situation,” he said.

“ They had a big pack and were excellent at the off-load which allowed them to create overlaps.

“I felt our forwards did well to frequently contain them, but their backs were very speedy and dangerous.”

Benji van der Byl of Dalriada commented: “It was a good all round team effort, but Johnny McMullan played well with two tries . It is also worth mentioning Andy Mark, No 8 Roger Bonar, out-half Ben Henderson, scrum-half Rhys McAuley and John Laughlin who all played well.”

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