Perfect start puts Hedley’s men on the right path for January joy

Richard Hedley.
Richard Hedley.

Portadown head coach Richard Hedley is hoping to maintain the positive start to 2016 across a January fixture list set to serve up tests on multiple fronts.

Victory last weekend across the Towns’ Cup by 29-3 provided Portadown with a well-earned 29-3 away win at Limavady.

Qualifying League Section One challenges and cup commitments will combine this month to set a marker for the second half of the town seniors’ season.

Dromore visit Chambers Park tomorrow (Saturday) and Hedley remains keen to maintain the momentum put in place during last weekend’s road trip.

“January is a big month for us, with fixtures across a few competitions,” said Hedley. “The Limavady win provided the right start and now it is about pushing on and building something from that result.

“Limavady may be Section Three but have enjoyed a decent season.

“There is always the risk after the holidays that you need time to get back on course.

“We had a nervous start but then settled down and improved as the play progressed within a decent win.

“When match sharpness is low and you have a game after so many weeks’ break, focus can fall short.

“However, that was not the case against Limavady and it is credit to the players how they continued to work hard.

“They also put in a performance from first whistle to last and refused to allow Limavady even a soft score.

“We did not give away any cheap points, with even the penalty a great hit from distance.”

Hedley and the coaching team established a blueprint across the match preparations for sustained effort.

“We talked beforehand about how we can accept a mistake in play but not a mistake in terms of lack of effort,” said Hedley. “There are no easy games at this level and it comes down to hard work.

“It was a solid performance overall and now we want to carry that focus forward.”

Play will start tomorrow (Saturday) at 2.30.