Ladies post welcome premier victory thanks to McCullough

Abbie McCullough.
Abbie McCullough.
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Portadown ladies’ firsts finished with a 2-1 success thanks to goals by Leeanne Cassells and Abbie McCullough.

The Edenvilla Park seniors came out on top over Queen’s for a welcome Premier League triumph.

Cassells broke the deadlock courtesy of a deflected reverse-stick strike.

Hard work across the defence helped Portadown to protect the advantage, with Jill Guiney on hand to clear a shot off the line before the break and Heather Wright alert on a number of occasions after the interval.

Second-half pressure produced an equaliser entering the closing 10 minutes.

However, a late rally by Portadown resulted in a closing reward and - with the third penalty corner of the fixture - Abbie McCullough converted Gaby Silcock’s switch.

Portadown will aim to carry that league boost into a derby date tomorrow (Saturday) at Edenvilla Park against Lurgan from 4 o’clock.

The seconds face Lisnagarvey on the road across the Irish Junior Cup.

MEN

Portadown men’s firsts’ opening defeat of life at Premier League level proved a demoralising blow against highly-rated Instonians.

The 8-0 reverse against one of the division’s title favourites left Portadown on the backfoot at the final whistle.

However, play proved positive across the initial 20 minutes as both sides enjoyed spells on top.

Zach McClelland, Stewart Kirkland and Matthew Winter proved sharp for Portadown - with Stephen Johnston a welcome outlet at the head of the attack as he continued his return from injury.

Firsts v Harlequins (Saturday, home, league, start 1 o’clock): J.Knipe, G.Titler, S.Bell, J.Rea, D.McKimm, A.Stevenson, S.Kirkland, J.Brown, Z.McClellend, S.Johnson, M.Beattie, G.Croft, P.Quaile, M.Winter, G.Morrison.

Seconds v Antrim (Friday, home, league, start 8 o’clock): Players to be notified.