Stevenson hits hat-trick to help men get title bid back on track

Adam Stevenson.
Adam Stevenson.

Portadown produced a winning response to the recent reverse against title rivals South Antrim with a 6-3 success on Saturday.

Mark Evans’ men lined out last weekend against Antrim at Edenvilla Park aiming to bounce back from defeat in the previous fixture’s top-of-the-table date.

South Antrim claimed the spoils to gain an extra edge over Portadown in the push for Senior One glory. However, the town seniors got back on track at the expense of Antrim as Adam Stevenson claimed a treble.

Stuart Bell and Stephen Johnston both proved unavailable, forcing Evans into a tactical reshuffle.

A disjointed opening period provided Antrim with the upper hand and the visitors gained control off a short corner.

It was level, however, soon after courtesy of Zach McClelland’s finish.

Antrim pushed hard before the break and held a 2-1 lead as a reward, the second also off a short corner.

Portadown used the interval to regroup and regain focus - with immediate returns in the second half.

Stevenson’s quickfire double turned the tables then a lapse in concentration put the sides back on level terms.

A reverse-stick strike by Johnny Brown placed Portadown up on 4-3 and the home side proved commanding as play progressed.

Stevenson’s hat-trick hit left the promising player on 23 goals for the campaign and the away side on the backfoot.

The final goal provided one of the afternoon’s highlights as a slick team move was capped by Peter Quaile’s back-post close-range finish.

Firsts v Raphoe (away, start 2.30, meet 11 o’clock): J.Knipe, G.Titler, D.McKimm, G.Edgar, J.Brown, S.Kirkland, Z.McClelland, G.Croft, J.Curran, P.Quaile, S.Johnston, A.Stevenson, M.Beattie.

Players to be notified: seconds v Queen’s (away, 4 o’clock start, meet 2 o’clock); thirds v Annadale (home, 1 o’clock start, meet 12 o’clock); fourths v Bangor (home, 4 o’clock start, meet 3 o’clock).