Hedley happy with form upturn towards top-four league push

Richard Hedley.
Richard Hedley.

Portadown remain in pursuit of a top-four finish despite last weekend’s 31-15 reverse at home to Instonians.

Head coach Richard Hedley refused to criticise the players following a performance which he considers deserving of greater reward.

“We had been poor in some recent games but I cannot fault the effort levels put in on Saturday against Instonians,” said Hedley. “Instonians may not have had to work just as hard for certain scores as we did for our points.

“However, overall, it was an encouraging display by the team, especially when compared to other games.

“Instonians were big and physical but we played well and worked for every advantage.

“One aspect is we would want to prove more clinical in certain situations but that remains an issue with a developing squad.

“That part will get better over time.”

Portadown play host to Ballyclare tomorrow (Saturday) before a road trip against Instonians. The Qualifying League campaign will wrap up with a test against Clogher Valley on a date to be confirmed.

“I still think two wins out of the final three games will secure a top-four finish,” said Hedley. “If we match the effort levels of last week for the game this Saturday against Ballyclare then I have faith in our chances.

“Our home form seems to be better and the target is still in sight.

“One issue for this weekend is a lengthy list of players unavailable for various reasons.

“We will sit down over the course of the week and finalise the line-up before Saturday.

“As always, we will look on it as an opportunity for other players to step in and grab the shirt.”

Play will start tomorrow (Saturday) at Chambers Park from 2.30.

Officials would like to thank the following sponsors for matchday support: Agricultural & Industrial Services and Woolsey Concrete.

The ‘man-of-the-match’ prize was presented to Diarmaid O’Kane by Portadown club president Ian Wray following the league date with Instonians.