PORTADOWN men’s firsts secured success in style on Saturday thanks to seven goals past visiting South Antrim.
Previous meetings between the teams this season provided David Agnew with both positive moments and pre-match ammunition regarding team talks – with Portadown having won one but lost the second clash.
Portadown attacked from the first whistle and enjoyed a command of play courtesy of hard pressing, short passing and rapid movement.
This resulted in the opening goal when Neil Gilmore attacked along the left and picked out Jamie Wright, with Steven Johnson producing the decisive strike.
Number two was scored following Wright’s composure to draw out the goalkeeper and square a pass which Gregory Croft slotted in.
It proved the first of the afternoon for Croft but not the last as he doubled his personal tally by steering in a reverse-stick shot.
South Antrim’s attempts at recovery were cut short by a Portadown short corner and Ryan Bennett finish.
The tempo dropped to a degree at this point but Portadown closed out the half with number five thanks to Gareth Titler’s reactions to meet a corner rebound.
Play proved disjointed overall in the second half until Bennett converted following another short corner.
South Antrim prevented Portadown from clocking up a clean sheet and, in return, the home camp felt frustration at failure to gain a penalty flick on two occasions.
One eventually arrived which Johnson converted with ease.
South Antrim added a second goal but the afternoon proved memorable for Portadown overall.
PORTADOWN Men’s Hockey Club would like to wish James Ferguson every success on his six-month teaching placement in Austria.
PORTADOWN men’s seconds’ 16-game winning run was cut short on Saturday by Cookstown.
The previous meeting between the sides left Portadown on the backfoot and helped spark a sequence of wins that resulted in 75 goals by the town players.
Portadown entered the match in search of the victory required to wrap up promotion from Junior Four but had to settle for a share of the spoils.
Early pressure by Portadown forced the Cookstown goalkeeper into a string of top saves.
Johnny Hassin, introduced off the sidelines, opened the scoring with a goal against his former club.
However, Cookstown battled back to level on two occasions before the final whistle.
PORTADOWN men’s firsts v North Down (Saturday, away, league, start 2.30, meet 12.30): J.Knipe, S.Kirkland, J.Rea, N.Gilmore, S.Johnson, G.Croft, J.Hassin, G.Edgar, G.Titler, S.Wylie, J.Wright, A.Stevenson, S.Bll.
Seconds v NICS (Saturday, home, league, start 1 o’clock, meet 12 o’clock): Players to be notified.
Thirds NICS (Saturday, away, league, start 4 o’clock, meet 2 o’clock): Players to be notified.