All-or-nothing cup clash on the weekend cards for Hedley’s men

Portadown and Instonians battle at Chambers Park during Saturday's league clash.
Portadown and Instonians battle at Chambers Park during Saturday's league clash.

Portadown head coach Richard Hedley will urge his players to focus on the performance and ignore the result from Saturday as they prepare for this weekend’s Towns’ Cup challenge.

Defeat to unbeaten Instonians by 14-12 served as Qualifying League disappointment despite a positive weekend display at Chambers Park.

Hedley is keen to highlight those encouraging elements as Portadown prepare for the visit of Limavady tomorrow (Saturday) in a crucial knockout tie.

“Our season will be over if we lose against Limavady,” said Hedley. “It is all about having the correct focus and preparing in the right manner.

“Our season has either featured big winning margins or, in those fixtures with the top sides, narrow defeats.

“It is important we learn to get over the line and last weekend was the perfect example.

“Too many games have that common theme and it comes down to making the correct decisions in certain key situations.

“We had some big players missing, people like Johnny Holden as captain and Diarmaid O’Kane.

“However, Aaron Abraham, Gary Hall, Jordan Elliott and Robert Gacek stepped forward.

“We dominated the first half but got punished for some mistakes as Instonians scored two tries compared to our four penalties.”

Hedley is adamant that progress and continued hard work will yield rewards.

“I can see our game management getting better with each training session and match,” said Hedley. “During the early days of the season, for example, we would opt to push for a score when the better option was to recycle possession but that area has significantly improved.

“We must make sure the attitude is right this weekend but, despite the final scoreline, I certainly could not have asked for any more from the players against Instonians.”

Play against Limavady will start tomorrow (Saturday) at 2.30.