‘TIMES’ IRISH CUP SPECIAL - Honours even in past last-four tests with Ballymena men

Portadown players celebrate semi-final success in 2010. Pic by PressEye Ltd.
Portadown players celebrate semi-final success in 2010. Pic by PressEye Ltd.

Portadown Football Club historian Trevor Clydesdale takes a look into the Shamrock Park archives:

“This weekend’s Irish Cup semi-final will mark a 25th time in which the Ports have graced the last-four stage of the domestic game’s premier knockout tournament.

“The record stands at 10 wins and 14 defeats, with five draws including a double replay in 1949.

“The first semi-final appearance arrived back in the 1927-28 campaign and a 2-1 defeat by Larne - one of 11 opponents faced by the Ports in the last-four alongside Glentoran (7), Ballymena United (4), Glenavon (3), Bangor (2), Coleraine (2), Ards, Carrick Rangers, Crusaders, Derry City and Linfield.

“Portadown’s first semi-final against Ballymena was at The Oval in 1939 when United won by 3-2.

“Windsor Park was the setting in 1951 when another defeat arrived on a 2-1 scoreline.

“In 1999, it was back to The Oval when goals by Brian Strain and Richard Clarke handed the Ports a first semi-final victory against Ballymena.

“David Miskelly was the penalty hero in 2010 when, with the tally at 4-3 and clock reading 8.13pm, the goalkeeper stopped a spot-kick by Aaron Stewart.

“Miskelly had previously saved a spot-kick from current Ports player Chris Ramsey.

“Extra-time arrived after Jordan Baker had put Portadown into the lead inside 90 minutes at Windsor Park before Andy Smith’s equaliser in another evening kick-off.

“It’s a case of two wins apiece between the sides entering this weekend’s tie.”