Portadown men’s firsts made a dream start to life in the Premier League - with midweek success at North Down by a 4-2 scoreline.
A first appearance on hockey’s senior stage resulted in full reward for a strong team performance.
Adam Stevenson’s double and a Zach McClelland brace provided the cutting edge to the perfect opening fixture.
McClelland wrapped up neat passing with the opening goal for Portadown at Premier League level.
A drag flick off a well-worked short-corner routine allowed Stevenson to increase the advantage.
North Down got back on level terms with two goals inside a matter of minutes and enjoyed a spell on top due to the momentum provided by that boost.
However, Jamie Knipe worked hard between the posts to keep the town seniors competitive during a disjointed period.
The game’s fifth goal helped to restore Portadown confidence as McClelland smashed a shot goalwards from a tight angle.
Portadown managed to restrict the hosts’ attacking threat and capped a landmark match with number four courtesy of Stevenson following a scramble.
Portadown men’s weekend teamsheets:
Firsts v NICS (league, home, start 1 o’clock): J.Knipe, G.Titler, S.Bell, G.Edgar, D.McKimm, D.Robinson, A.Stevenson, S.Kirkland, J.Brown, Z.McClelland, M.Bennett, M.Beattie, G.Croft, P.Quaile, M.Winter.
Seconds v Lisnagarvey fifths (league, away, start 1 o’clock): Players to be notified.
Thirds v NICS thirds (league, home, start 4 o’clock): Players to be notified.
Portadown ladies’ firsts lost out by 3-1 against Randalstown on Saturday in the Premier League.
“We just did not turn up,” said Esther Dickson, the scorer of Portadown’s sole goal. “We were competitive in the first half but under sustained pressure in the second.
“Randalstown did not have to play that well to beat us, which is the most disappointing part of the game.
“We now have a free weekend due to the Inter-Provincial Series then face Belfast Harlequins in the league before the Irish Hockey Trophy.”
Wendy Cowan grabbed five goals as the ladies’ thirds defeated Mossley on a 5-0 scoreline.
Portadown produced impressive performances at Grosvenor last weekend across the under 11s and under 13s.
Portadown College student Kerrie Burns will represent Ulster under 18s this weekend at the Inter-Provincial Series in Dublin.
The squad also includes Alana Doyle and Kathryn Edgar from the area.
Edgar is a Lurgan team-mate of Burns, with Doyle part of the Ards panel at club level.
Ulster open the tournament today (Friday) against Munster from 2 o’clock.
They then face both South East and Connacht tomorrow (Saturday).
Leinster provide the opposition on Sunday to close the campaign.