Far from vintage but victory keeps alive Chambers Park trophy push

Portadown's Towns' Cup campaign featured a weekend win against Limavady at Chambers Park by 41-17. Pic by Phil Ray.
Portadown's Towns' Cup campaign featured a weekend win against Limavady at Chambers Park by 41-17. Pic by Phil Ray.
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In a season of diminishing returns, Portadown produced a winning performance far from perfect but effective to the point of keeping alive the club’s trophy hopes.

Victory on a 41-17 scoreline provided highpoints alongside points of frustration at Chambers Park but, ultimately, the margin of victory required to secure safe passage.

Richard Hedley, the town outfit’s head coach, will be hoping for last weekend’s knockout victory against the Section Three visitors to spark the momentum that can carry Portadown forward across the next two Qualifying League top-flight fixtures before another cup date.

Chris Cousens enjoyed success with the boot and Daniel Irvine registered his first score of the season as Portadown held control for sustained periods.

The half-time interval arrived with Portadown clear by 22-0 and that gap increased to 36-0 before Limavady’s response took advantage of a sluggish spell by the hosts.

“It was about the result more than anything as we really want to push on in the Towns’ Cup this season,” said Hedley. “In terms of looking back at the performance, we had a great first half and held a convincing lead.

“However, at 36-0 we lost our focus and conceded three soft tries which failed to really require Limavady to do much work.

“That was disappointing but the performance overall featured enough positives to take forward.

“Now we have a trip to face an improving Ballymoney side before home to Clogher Valley the following weekend ahead of the next Towns’ Cup tie.”

Johnny Holden - the senior captain - is expected to return to training this week as Hedley starts the New Year with positive news in terms of player availability across the board.

“We are starting to get some depth into the squad, with certain players coming back into the fold,” said Hedley. “We still remain short in other areas as a result of injury issues but it is about building on the cup result going into those next two tough league tests.”