Seniors back on track as head coach calls for positive finale

Mark Neilly on the charge for Portadown against Dromore. Pic by Matthew Wickham Photography.
Mark Neilly on the charge for Portadown against Dromore. Pic by Matthew Wickham Photography.

Portadown managed to stop the rot on Saturday - now Richard Hedley is hoping for a strong finale to the frustrating Qualifying League campaign.

The 27-17 weekend win over Dromore at Chambers Park helped Portadown recover from the Towns’ Cup quarter-final exit and turn the tables on a six-match losing streak across Qualifying League One.

Now, with three games left on the schedule and a top-four finish the target, Hedley is calling on his senior squad to enjoy the closing fixtures.

“Saturday was just about getting the win as we needed to stop that bad run,” said Hedley, the head coach. “It was not pretty to be honest and, in many ways, we stopped after getting the bonus point on the board.

“However, now we have turned that corner it is about enjoying the final run of games and producing some decent performances to close out the season.

“We visit CIYMS this weekend for our final away match and that is a reasonable trip to make in terms of travel time.

“Then we close out the campaign at home to Cooke and Ballyclare.

“Although third is beyond reach, a top-four finish would at least give us something positive and those remaining league fixtures all fall against sides based around us in the table.

“We needed that win against Dromore to lift everyone but it still proved a frustrating afternoon for us due to the standard of the display.

“However, it is about moving forward now and looking towards the next three games, rather than the previous six defeats before Saturday.”

Injury issues have left some ruled out on a long-term basis but the progress of other players into the senior ranks has left Hedley encouraged for the future.

“People like Ryan Muldrew and Mark Muldrew have come into the panel and been positive,” said Hedley. “We want to continue to move forward and for the players to enjoy the final few fixtures with some good performances.”