Zach McClelland’s double pushed Portadown men’s firsts into a commanding position but South Antrim regrouped to share the overall spoils.
The town side enjoyed the upper hand by 2-0 at half-time thanks to sharp play by McClelland to reward a strong team run.
Graeme Morrison and Stewart Kirkland worked hard to provide Portadown with a positive platform as Robbie Scott - a recent arrival - offered a threat in attack.
Adam Stevenson picked out McClelland from a short corner and the latter reacted before a South Antrim defender to deflect his shot home.
Gareth Titler, Stuart Bell, Stevenson and Johnny Brown left South Antrim frustrated and Portadown increased the upper hand on 15 minutes.
Gregory Croft drilled the ball towards the back post and McClelland raced in to convert.
Positive attacking play failed to produce additional reward.
South Antrim attacked across the second half to test Jamie Knipe.
The hosts took advantage of a Portadown lapse in concentration despite Morrison’s last-gasp tackle.
A second error presented South Antrim an opportunity to level courtesy of a deflected strike.
Jamie Curran proved sharp following his return from long-term injury problems.
Firsts v Newry (Saturday, league, home, start 1 o’clock): J.Knipe, G.Titler, S.Bell, J.Rea, R.Scott, A.Stevenson, S.Kirkland, J.Brown, Z.McClelland, S.Johnson, M.Beattie, G.Croft, J.Curran, M.Winter, G.Morrison.
Seconds v Antrim (Friday, league, away, start 8.30): Players to be confirmed.
Thirds v Derg Valley (Saturday, league, home, start 4 o’clock): Players to be notified.