Late goals but seniors lacking end product

HOCKEY PORTADOWN men’s firsts produced a late flurry of goals but finished with little reward at home to Newry.

Defeat arrived for the hosts by 4-3 at Edenvilla Park following a gripping clash.

A last-gasp winner had allowed Newry to edge clear of Portadown at the end of a nine-goal thriller in the previous meeting. Saturday served up additional excitement.

Newry’s free-flowing approach led to the visitors moving ahead on five minutes.

Portadown worked hard to get back into contention but struggled to settle into any regular tempo.

Slack defending from a short-corner situation allowed Newry to double the lead before Stephen Johnson’s clinical finish helped Portadown to close the gap.

The second half started with Newry on song despite Portadown’s positive approach.

Another Newry goal arrived following poor marking and the gap increased to three entering the final 10 minutes.

This sparked Portadown into a late surge when James Ferguson’s pass was steered home by Gregory Croft off a measured reverse-stick shot.

Johnson’s second of the afternoon made it 4-3 but, ultimately, a disappointing afternoon.

PORTADOWN men’s seconds came out on top over a Bangor team entering last weekend fresh from four wins across a five-match unbeaten sequence.

However, Portadown added another impressive display to the side’s push for Junior Four success by registering a 2-0 scoreline.

The absence of Simon Caddell - the team captain - plus the influential Andy Brown led to the selectors calling on Jonny Harper, Dave Winter and Jordan Brown from the thirds.

The first half was dominated by defensive form, with just a single penalty corner awarded.

Bangor fourths came close to breaking the deadlock from a diverted cross but the effort dropped wide of Harper’s target.

Three successive penalty corners by Bangor failed to result in an opening goal but Portadown pushed hard, with Peter Quaile strong.

Jamie Curran and Brown combined to cut open the Bangor backline and the latter’s pass was converted by Alan Henry at the back post.

Johnny Madill and Harper battled to protect the clean sheet before Henry’s second of the afternoon secured full points.

PORTADOWN Ladies’ Hockey Club firsts finished on level terms last week with Victorians at Edenvilla Park in the Premier League.