Belfast blues for seniors

Portadown men's firsts' Robert Scott (left) attempting to win back for possession last weekend against Belfast Harlequins.
Portadown men's firsts' Robert Scott (left) attempting to win back for possession last weekend against Belfast Harlequins.

Portadown men’s firsts finished down by 2-0 last weekend at Belfast Harlequins.

The visitors struggled to settle across the first half and lacked any passing rhythm as Harlequins dominated possession.

A scramble allowed Harlequins to break the deadlock and pressure continued on Portadown thanks to a string of short corners.

Jamie Knipe produced one smart save but another short corner found the net to hand Harlequins a 2-0 advantage.

Portadown had a single attacking threat before the break when Zach McClelland’s effort cleared the crossbar.

Portadown produced a much-improved display in the second half as Neil Gilmore, McClelland and Stephen Johnston enjoyed a greater share of the ball.

However, sights of goal proved limited and the only significant scoring opportunity arrived off Johnny Brown’s deflection but it failed to find the target.

Portadown now sit fifth and still in contention for a play-off spot towards next season’s IHL - with Harlequins third in the Premier League standings.

“It was an entertaining but hard-fought match,” said a Portadown spokesman. “Harlequins were wasteful in front of goal and we gifted them a number of chances.

“It was disappointing to come away without any points.”

Men’s teamsheets:

Portadown men’s firsts v Newry (Friday, away, start 7.30): J.Knipe, G.Titler, S.Bell, R.Scott, A.Stevenson, S.Kirkland, J.Brown, Z.McClelland, S.Johnston, M.Beattie, G.Croft, J.Curran, M.Winter, G.Morrison, N.Gilmore.

Seconds v Mossley (Friday, away, start 8.15): Players to be notified.

Thirds v NICS (Saturday, away, start 1 o’clock): Players to be notified.

LADIES

Portadown ladies’ firsts’ Premier League campaign featured a 9-2 defeat on Saturday at home to Belfast Harlequins.

The ladies’ seconds finished on level terms with Victorians.

The ladies’ thirds enjoyed a 5-0 success over Mossley.