Cup progress thanks to late surge

Seamus McCaffrey (men's president) and Betty Jennings (ladies' president) at the Pleasure Gardens during the launch of the outdoor season.

Seamus McCaffrey (men's president) and Betty Jennings (ladies' president) at the Pleasure Gardens during the launch of the outdoor season.

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Portadown turned the tables on a 12-shot deficit to rescue the Irish Junior Cup campaign with defeat of Comber by 81-75.

Comber held control at key moments in the tie, with a lead of eight by 16 ends.

However, Portadown’s strong finish resulted in a scoring sequence of 21-7 in the town side’s favour towards first-round progress and a forthcoming tie with Lisnagarvey.

Andrew Millar, Wayne Dougan, Greg McCartan and Noel Quinn held a slender 11-10 lead on rink one at 11 ends before a string of scoring wrapped up victory by 24-13.

On rink two, Ken Lamond, Joel Hyde, Nixon Armstrong and Noel Orr hit seven ends with a deficit of 18-0.

The Portadown response featured wins across eight ends, including the final five, to restrict Comber’s margin to 31-14.

Josh Hyde, Ken Mulholland, Sean McNeice and Robert Cassells proved resolute against an impressive Comber combination that edged home by 19-17 following a gripping tussle.

George Richardson, Eddie Corkin, Bob Robinson and Errol Whitten met an in-form Comber skip who secured shot for his rink across the opening two ends then got second shot on the third with Portadown holding five.

It was 5-1 to Comber at six ends but strong positional play by Richardson and Robinson switched the momentum and led to six successive wins for Portadown.

This sequence included a seven-shot haul towards leads of 15-6 and 22-9 in the 26-12 win.

The club focus will return to league commitments this weekend.

Portadown A host Lisnagarvey tomorrow (Saturday) afternoon at the Pleasure Gardens, with the B players on the road to face North Down.