Gault’s high praise as ace Twigg nets double

Portadown players salute the supporters at the final whistle in the Irish Cup. Pic by PressEye Ltd.
Portadown players salute the supporters at the final whistle in the Irish Cup. Pic by PressEye Ltd.

Michael Gault’s midfield career has provided the perfect vantage point from which to witness some of the finest strikers in Irish League football.

A spot in the heart of Portadown’s engine room on Saturday at Shamrock Park left the experienced player in a perfect position to enjoy Gary Twigg’s Irish Cup double.

A Chris Casement penalty kick handed the Ports control before Twigg pushed the tie beyond Linfield for a 3-0 half-time advantage.

Gault, who lined out alongside modern greats such as Glenn Ferguson and Peter Thompson in Linfield blue, was quick to rank Twigg within that number.

“He is certainly up there with the best,” said Gault. “He can do things that other players only dream about and sticking the ball in the back of the net is the hardest skill in football.

“He is fantastic and both goals were great but especially the second, when another player may have snatched at the chance or gone across the goalkeeper.”

Gault is keen to now turn that weekend delight into a strong finale to the season across league and cup.

“It was a great team performance but we are only in the Irish Cup semi-final and it is far from an easy match against Ballymena,” said the summer signing. “We will need to play exactly the same way in the semi-final as Saturday to stand any chance of reaching the final.

“Against Linfield we came flying out of the blocks and got the early penalty kick then just kept going to lead by 3-0 at half-time.

“We were in dreamland, with the supporters fantastic during a big result for the club.

“We held out strong and everyone is delighted to be in the next round.”

“I felt we were the best side in the league early this season but then injuries and suspensions knocked us.

“Beating Linfield in the league at Windsor Park gave everyone another lift and maybe this is not going to be our year in the league but there are still plenty of points to go for over the final games.”

Portadown’s Irish Cup semi-final against Ballymena United has been confirmed for the Oval on Saturday, March 21 - with kick-off at 5.30.