Off to the Oval from town and beyond...

Ports fans enjoying the Irish Cup semi-final - it's back to The Oval this weekend for the big one.
Ports fans enjoying the Irish Cup semi-final - it's back to The Oval this weekend for the big one.

Seventeen buses will head off to The Oval tomorrow (Saturday) representing the four affiliated supporters’ clubs.

Travel times are as follows, with all supporters’ clubs sold out:

OFFICIAL TRAVEL CLUB: Five buses leaving Shamrock Park at 12.30 and JD Tipler’s at 12.45.

SHAMROCK REDS: Two buses leaving Shamrock Park at 12.30. A members’ bus will visit West Street at 12.15.

EDEN REDS: Seven buses leaving Gary’s Bar at 12.30.

RICHHILL REDS: Three buses leaving the village square at 12.15.

Portadown Youth have two buses scheduled to head off from Shamrock Park.

Transport has also been booked from venues such as Sally McNally’s, Jameson’s Bar and JD Tipler’s - plus the Markethill and Comber areas - with bus numbers expected around the 40 mark.

The Mid-Ulster Football League will be represented by clubs such as Rectory Rangers, Hanover, Portadown BBOB, Bourneview Mill and Laurelvale.

Many of the bars, restaurants and private clubs have special Irish Cup final breakfast packages to help with the pre-match atmosphere.

A disco for supporters will run in Gary’s Bar from 11 o’clock. Fans heading from Shamrock Park can take advantage of a soda breakfast from 10 o’clock.

Parking has been arranged in the Belfast Harbour Estate.

Private vehicles can park via the Sydenham Road and rejoin the M3 after the Odyssey building. Supporters’ clubs should exit at the Odyssey turn-off or the Dee Street exit. A fans’ drop-off and collection point has been arranged around the Dee Street roundabout.


Success on Saturday could provide a special guest to take pride of place next weekend in Tandragee Golf Club for the annual Portadown Supporters’ Society-organised prize night.

The May 9 function has been designated a night of celebration to mark the 25th anniversary of Portadown’s inaugural Irish League victory and many past players have confirmed attendance.

Tickets remain on sale at £30 from the PSS, Bill Emerson or


As the Portadown players attempt to add to club history on the field, a group of supporters have been working hard to roll back the years in a different way.

The ‘Better Red Than Dead’ fanzine was a popular part of the matchday experience during Portadown’s glory days across the 1990s.

Although still active online, a number of enterprising fans have rejuvenated the print edition for this weekend’s final.

The 28-page publication will be distributed for free.