Johnston joy as men seal league win

Stephen Johnston.
Stephen Johnston.

Portadown men’s firsts pushed on from the festive cup triumph with a welcome weekend win to open the 2015 league programme.

Mark Evans, the men’s head coach, set a challenge to his seniors in the aftermath of Linden Cup glory to turn that winning form into league points.

Portadown took the first steps down that road on Saturday by beating Campbellians on a 6-1 tally.

Although the final margin of victory suggested a comfortable victory, Portadown struggled to gain control across the initial stages.

As a result, Campbellians grabbed the first goal of the afternoon.

The Portadown response resulted in a short corner and Stephen Johnston eventually produced the finishing touch.

The equaliser sparked a period of Portadown pressure that led to Matthew Beattie handing the town men the half-time lead.

Jamie Curran found the net after the interval to disrupt Campbellians’ attempts to get back into contention.

Johnston’s second of the day placed Portadown clear overall by 4-1 and Johnny Brown, the captain, added number five.

Gregory Croft closed out the scoring as Portadown finished with a 6-1 win.

Weekend teamsheets for Portadown’s men’s sides are as follows:

Firsts v North Down (Saturday, away, meet 12.30, start 2.30): J.Knipe, G.Titler, D.McKimm, G.Edgar, J.Brown, S.Bell, S.Kirkland, Z.McClelland, G.Croft, J.Curran, P.Quaile, S.Johnston, A.Stevenson, M.Beattie.

Thirds v Antrim thirds (Saturday, away, meet 2 o’clock, start 4 o’clock): Players to be notified.

Fourths v Down seconds (Saturday, home, meet 12 o’clock, start 1 o’clock): Players to be notified.

SCHOOLS

Portadown College will face Southern Regional College in the opening round of the Burney Cup.

The College must take on Southern Regional College before January 31, with the reward a second-round date against Wallace High School.

The competition is sponsored by Sinton’s At The Bridge.