Portuma RFC claim the J2 League for the first timej2
Portumna RFC beat Corinthians 22 – 15 at the Sportsground to claim the J2 League title for the first time. The victory also marked the clubs first senior title. Corinthians were strong favourites for this game having beaten Portumna in the Cup semi-final the week before and they started the brighter with their forwards carrying strongly deep into Portumna territory. Portumna’s defence held firm and the game ebbed and flowed throughout the first half. It was Corinthians who took the lead through a Peter Hanna penalty following another sustained period of pressure. Portumna hit back soon after with a penalty from Gavin O’Toole following strong carrying from centres Michael Tuohy and Conor O’Sullivan. The score would remain the same until half time and Portumna would play with a strong breeze in the second half.
Portumna with intent and really got their strong support into the game by building huge pressure on the Corinthians line. However, Corinthians held firm and a knock on allowed them the opportunity to counter from deep. A number of phases later a poor pass allowed winger Ciaran Scully to pounce on the ball grubbering to the line before pouncing to give Portumna an 8 – 3 lead following O’Toole’s missed conversion. Corinthians immediately bounced back, building pressure through the maul before experienced scrum half Mike Roche dotted down off the side of a ruck. Hanna couldn’t add the conversion to leave the game tied with 15 minutes left. The tide turned Portumna’s way yet again as a superb individual try from Michael Tuohy converted by O’Toole left them 15 – 7 ahead going into the last 10 minutes. Corinthians ran from deep desperately trying to get themselves back in the game but a knock on near halfway was pounced on by winger Patrick Dolphin who showed great pace to score in the corner, O’Toole added the extras. However, Corinthians couldn’t be discounted just yet as Wayne Williams powered his way over at the posts and Hanna converted leaving the score within a score of Portumna at 22 – 15. Portumna were not to be beaten however, and their defence remained strong for the final few minutes. The scenes on the final whistle were incredible as the clubs passionate support rejoiced in the stands.

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