NEWRY III 4 PORTRUSH II 3
PORTRUSH Seconds travelled to Newry on Saturday in the Minor knock-out cup competition and despite putting up a stirring performance, lost by the odd goal in seven.
It was always going to be a tough ask for the local boys, but their enthusiasm and commitment to a good cup run was evident in their play throughout a hectic ninety minutes.Newry fielded a strong team and Portrush were clearly the underdogs, but ultimately the game could have gone either way with cup clashes having a habit of levelling matters.
Early exchanges were even and it was Newry who scored first by catching Portrush on the break after about ten minutes.
Portrush responded by keeping their cool and from a short corner, Andy Dalzell scored one of the best goals of the season. The experienced player somehow performed a bicycle-like hit with the ball curling into the top of the net. Most agreed it was one of the best goals they had seen.
The worst possible end to the first half occurred when Portrush conceded a short corner from which Newry pinched their second goal. Half time 2-1.
The second half saw Portrush continue to play confidently and five minutes into the half they again equalised when Andy Christie evaded the tackles of three players to score a brilliant individual goal.
Newry responded with a flurry of attacks and gained a number of short corners but the visitors held firm until a controversial penalty flick was awarded from which Newry got their third.
Portrush then went even further behind with a goal that trickled past goalkeeper, Trevor Kilpatrick, who had been ill earlier in the week but bravely took his place in the nets.
Portrush gave themselves hope when they reduced the deficit almost immediately when Philip Linton and Graham Christie combined well for Graham to score.
The final stages saw Portrush press hard but Newry defended well to reach the quarter final stage.
PORTRUSH: T. Kirkpatrick, J. Hutchinson, T. Cartmill, P. McMullan, J. McMullan, A. Christie, C. Henry, P. Linton, A. Dalzell, G. Christie, P. Kerr. Subs – B. McMullan, C. Leeming.