Ballynahinch continued to boss the game during the opening quarter, controlling play within the Portadown half. Norton had another scoring opportuntity on ten minutes but this time his penalty was pushed to the right.
The first try of the game came on thirteen minutes and it was no surprise that it was the County Down men who scored it. A well worked play off a ruck saw winger John Hyndman take the ball on a great inside line to dart through and dot down under the posts, before Norton's simple conversion opened up a 10-0 lead.
The score seemed to spark Portadown into life and it was the men in blue who made the best of the play for the remainder of the half. Firstly, a good line break by out-half David Whitten required a last ditch tackle to prevent a try. The ball was recycled to lock Dave Gunson but he knocked the ball forward as he dived for the line. Whitten was then presented with a penalty opportunity resulting from a high tackle in the 21st minute, but his effort rebounded off the right hand upright. With Portadown now dominating possession, centre Oliver Montels made another blistering break, releasing Jack Orr, but the full back was forced into touch just short of the try line.
Portadown's pressure was eventually rewarded just before the interval when a big scrum turned the ball over, allowing Whitten to nudge his team down to the 5 metre line. A couple of phases later, Whitten slipped in Montels who beat the cover to get in for his side's opening score. Whitten's conversion narrowed the deficit to 10-7 as the teams prepared to switch ends.
Five minutes after the restart Whitten slotted over a penalty to level up the sides at 10-10, punishing 'Hinch for getting caught offside.
As the Portadown forwards powered through several phases of drives deep in opposition territory, it looked as though they would get in for their second try but the ball was knocked on once more with the try line beckoning.
With the game approaching the hour mark, Ballynahinch full-back Michael Carson weaved through the Portadown defence before slipping to Josh McMullan who was forced into touch. With Portadown penalised for a no-hands tackle, Ballynahinch set up a lineout maul which rolled over the whitewash; number 8 Phil Orr coming up with the ball.
Shortly after, Whitten spurned a good opportunity to strike back as his goal kick dropped to the right hand side of the posts.
With ten minutes of normal time remaining Portadown replacement Brian Fox dazzled with the score of the game, showing a fantastic blend of pace and power to beat three defenders on the right wing before stretching to touch down and level the sides once again at 15-15.
The rest of normal time was played out with Portadown in the ascendancy, however the Ballynahinch defence managed to hold out, forcing the game into extra time.
In the opening four minutes of extra time, both Norton and Whitten had further penalty attempts, with neither managing to capitalise.
Ten minutes into extra time, Portadown, who were chasing their first Crawford Cup title, took the lead for the first time when Whitten spotted a hole in the 'Hinch defence before sending through a well placed grubber kick for Orr to chase and touch down.
Mid-way through the second period of extra time, Ballynahinch forced Portadown back with some early possession and, although Portadown briefly turned over a lineout inside their own 22, the clearance only found 'Hinch scrum-half Ben McMullan who somehow managed to slip through several attempted tackles and cross for the crucial score of the game. Norton fired over the conversion to re-establish a 22-20 for his side.
With a couple of minutes remaining, 'Hinch captain Carson touched down to put the result beyond doubt, finishing off a swift move from right to left, while Norton sealed the win with an excellent sideline conversion.
Ballynahinch 3rd XV Team:
(15-9): Michael Carson (Capt), Josh McMullan, Eamonn McAnulty, Christopher Kirk, John Hyndman, Matthew Norton, Ben McMullan;
(1-8): Chris Stevenson, David Steele, Alistair Gordon, Matthew Conolly, Dave Gunson, Stuart Elwood, Gareth Murdock, Phil Orr.
Replacements: Andy Glenn, Stuart Hodges, Rory Kerr.
Portadown 2nd XV Team:
(15-9): Jack Orr, Stephen Buckley, Josh Matchett, Oliver Montels, Conor Megarity, David Whitten, Johnny Hampton;
(1-8): Matthew Davison, Robert Greenlee, John Purdy, Mark Muldrew, Rodney Blair, Robert Reid, Thomas Johnston, Dean Hardy (Capt).
Replacements: Darren Thompson, John Graham, Brian Fox.