PORTADOWN lost out to Cooke Collegians in a rare Section Two outing last week but the town captain, Andrew Hammond, was quick to praise his players.
“We may have lost the match but Cooke entered the game with an unbeaten record and our performance was pretty strong overall,” said Hammond. “It was only our second match across the whole of June and we were good in the field and during bowling.
“Our batting let us down but it was a decent measure of our progress and we should approach future fixtures with the same attitude and commitment.
“We still have 14 league games left so plenty of points up for grabs and take on Mill Park this weekend, with the seconds facing Ards.
“James Edgar is set to miss games due to a shoulder operation but we have a decent squad in terms of numbers.
“Although losing one or two experienced players tends to put the pressure on the other senior members, we have faith in everyone on the books.
“That fact that we have been unable to line out even once this season with the likes of James, Syed Ali and Roshan Jose together is frustrating.
“However, against Cooke we promoted a few players from the seconds, with Luke Flannigan and Mohammad Ikram both settling in well at senior level.
“The mood has been good in practice, which is important as with so many games called off it can lead to players drifting away if the atmosphere is not right around the club.”