Weekend draw the latest step forward for ladies in league

Abbie McCullough (left).
Abbie McCullough (left).

Slow and steady progress should prove central to Premier League survival this season for Portadown ladies’ firsts.

Club coach Jane McKimm points to a “steady accumulation of points” as key to the team’s league objectives.

A return of four points from three league games to date suggests McKimm’s prediction could prove accurate as Portadown hold a mid-table position following the opening few weeks.

“It is about a steady accumulation of points and I think the results across the Ulster Shield and Premier League reflect overall how teams are still settling following the summer changes,” she said. “The player movement to IHL clubs has had an impact along with unavailability and you only have to look at the Ulster Shield results to see that outcome.

“We had certain results go against us when one piece of luck could have made all the difference.

“There were also some surprising results but teams often struggle now to get full panels out and that maybe leads to dips in form.

“Although we have a dedicated squad, it would be rare to have full numbers at training due to so many other commitments in terms of work, school and family.

“We have had a run of midweek games and it can be quite difficult but, hopefully, over time everything will start to adjust and settle down.”

The 1-1 draw with Ballymoney on Saturday arrived following derby delight against Armagh and off the back of a defeat by Dungannon.

“We now have Premier League experience in the squad so it is no longer a case of players not knowing what to expect from this standard,” said McKimm. “It is a different landscape now without the IHL sides but that will level out over time and our aim is to continue making progress.

“Everything is definitely moving in the right direction for the club.”

Portadown visit Randalstown tomorrow (Saturday).