BALLYMENA SECONDS 2 PORTRUSH SECONDS 3
PORTRUSH Seconds had to come from a two-goal deficit to take all three points against a rugged Ballymena Seconds on Saturday.
The narrow win keeps the Portrush team’s slim hopes of promotion alive and the local players know they got out of jail on this one.
Portrush went into the game missing a number of key players including Aaron Douglas and Scott Horner and the make-up of the side was mostly made up of very young lads who although lacking in experience were full of enthusiasm.
In the first minute Peter Kerr won the visitors a short corner but nothing came of it and when Ballymena counter attacked they broke the deadlock when a cross from the left was converted.
Ballymena were dominant in the first half but couldn’t manage to get another goal before half time.
The second half saw Ballymena still in charge at the outset at least and the signs of Portrush getting back into the game were few and far between.
Ballymena got a second goal in controversial circumstances when a free hit appeared to be taken straight into the ‘D’. Play was allowed to continue and Ballymena capitalised with a second goal despite protests from Portrush.
The goal only galvanized Portrush into action and it was Andy Dalzell who emerged the hero with a marvellous hat-trick – his second of the season - in the final fifteen minutes of the game one of the goals being set up by Graham Christie.
This was a game that Portrush were lucky to win and the team will have to play better in their next game, but they can comfort themselves by showing true grit and a never-say-die attitude which paid off in the end.
PORTRUSH: T. Kirkpatrick, P. McMullan, J. McMullan, T. Cartmill (capt). J. Hutchinson, B. McMullan, C. Henry, R. Jones, A. Dalzell, G. Christie, P. Kerr. Subs – C. Leeming, P. Linton, C. Hogg.