Weather frustration as lack of pitch time threatens ladies’ momentum bid

Zach McClelland
Zach McClelland

Portadown ladies’ head coach Jane McKimm has highlighted the lack of pitch time as a source of frustration.

The town seniors lost out last weekend to Ballymoney by 2-0 and face Harlequins tomorrow (Saturday) on the road.

“Training was off on Monday night due to snow and frost,” said McKimm. “Once again, we have been hampered by the lack of pitch time.

“Our juniors are also suffering, with training cancelled again this week due to the weather.

“Our seconds’ Irish Junior Cup match was called off on Friday, with the thirds’ league game last weekend also postponed.

“The game against Ballymoney was halted temporarily due to hailstones and, overall, playing conditions proved difficult.

“We had not played for three weeks and had rarely been on a pitch to train so it was a slow start and we conceded from a penalty corner.

“We had some good spells of pressure and produced good play in midfield thanks to Kim Scott and Pam Gilpin but did not make our possession count.

“Leeanne Cassells was full of strong running and hit the post at 2-0, plus Zoe Jackson also pulled off some good saves.

“There is still much work to do on improving the basics and starting games with a more aggressive approach.

“One plus was the under 15s’ cup win against Harlequins on Sunday by 4-2.

“Lucy McKimm and Chloe Porter each scored two goals apiece and huge thanks go to the people at Harlequins for clearing the snow off the pitch to get the game on.

“After so long without a match it was relief for the players to actually get a game.”

MEN

Portadown’s Senior One title ambitions suffered a setback on Saturday with defeat to South Antrim by 3-2.

Jamie Knipe produced crucial early saves but Portadown dominated the initial exchanges and grabbed control thanks to Zach McClelland’s clever skill and finish.

Gregory Croft made it 2-0 with a reverse-stick effort following a superb solo run.

However, South Antrim closed the gap then - with Portadown temporarily reduced to nine men - scored two quickfire goals.

Portadown now sit five points off the head of the division entering the final eight fixtures.

Forthcoming men’s fixtures are as follows:

Portadown men’s firsts v Antrim (Saturday, home, start 1 o’clock, meet 12 o’clock): J.Knipe, G.Titler, D.McKimm, G.Edgar, J.Brown, S.Bell, S.Kirkland, Z.McClelland, G.Croft, J.Curran, P.Quaile, S.Johnson, A.Stevenson, M.Beattie.

Seconds v Kilkeel (Saturday, away, start 1 o’clock, meet 11 o’clock): Players to be notified.

Fourths v PSNI (Friday, away, start 7.30, meet 5.45): Players to be notified.

QUIZ

Portadown Men’s Hockey Club’s annual quiz will run on Friday, February 13.

The fun is scheduled to start in Portadown Golf Club at 8 o’clock - with everyone welcome.