Hedley happy with aspects of league defeat on the road

Celebrating sponsorship support of the man-of-the-match award across four Portadown teams are, from left, Andrew Focker (Scrumee At The Park, sponsor), Chris Cousens (firsts' captain), Dean Hardy (seconds' captain), Brian Milligan (fourths' captain), Keith Boyce (thirds' captain) and Neil Irwin (club president). Thanks to C and G Embroidery.
Celebrating sponsorship support of the man-of-the-match award across four Portadown teams are, from left, Andrew Focker (Scrumee At The Park, sponsor), Chris Cousens (firsts' captain), Dean Hardy (seconds' captain), Brian Milligan (fourths' captain), Keith Boyce (thirds' captain) and Neil Irwin (club president). Thanks to C and G Embroidery.
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Defeat in the second fixture of the Championship Division One league programme failed to dampen the enthusiasm of head coach Richard Hedley.

If the early stages of the competitive schedule offer matchday opportunities to sharpen pre-season workout plans, Hedley was happy to focus on the positives within the performance over the final result.

A free weekend tomorrow (Saturday) will present training time before the next fixture to work on problem areas from the 25-13 reverse away to Enniskillen.

However, Hedley was delighted with the variety of play on show and, in particular, the invention and application towards both tries.

“It is about taking the good points out of any game but, certainly, our two tries were excellent,” said Hedley. “The scores were impressive in terms of how we put everything together but also the execution and way we worked the situations.

“We can take real heart from those moments and, overall, I cannot fault the effort put in by everyone.

“Enniskillen will get a lot of results at home this season and they can boast a solid pack.”

Play proved tight across the first half, with the scores level at 13 apiece across the initial stages after the break.

Portadown failed to benefit from one attacking attempt then conceded a try within moments to put Enniskillen in control.

Another late try added to the margin of defeat.

“I think the scoreline was probably a bit harsh against us when you look at the match overall,” said Hedley. “Although always disappointed to lose, we were in contention and, on another day, certain decisions would have come off for us.

“The weather conditions were decent and we tried to run the ball as much as possible, which is the style everyone is pushing towards on a consistent basis.”

Portadown will reflect on the defeat with a blank schedule at senior level tomorrow (Saturday) before turning the attention to preparations for a clash with Carrick at Chambers Park next weekend.

“You always feel better playing at home as you get used to the pitch and conditions,” said Hedley. “Home advantage could actually prove quite important this season as I am expecting a tight division.

“Most teams can expect tough games week in, week out to be honest and results will be close.

“We will take encouragement from various aspects of last weekend’s game and, moving forward, offered signs of the fluidity and style of play we have as the long-term plan.

“We will keep working at it and look at ways of moving forward together.

“We can take advantage of the Junior Cup bye this weekend then focus on our preparations for the Carrick match at home on September 17.”