Cup final woes for Portrush Seconds

The Portrush team shake hands with Ulster Hockey club officials before the start of their cup final against Portadown Thirds on Saturday.INBM15-14 105F
The Portrush team shake hands with Ulster Hockey club officials before the start of their cup final against Portadown Thirds on Saturday.INBM15-14 105F

PORTRUSH 1

PORTADOWN 2

Portrush captain, Tom Cartmill, receives his loser's medal.INBM15-14 107F

Portrush captain, Tom Cartmill, receives his loser's medal.INBM15-14 107F

Portrush Seconds suffered heartbreak on Saturday when they lost the final of the Minor Cup going down 2-1 to Portadown Thirds at Stormont, Belfast.

As the scoreline suggests this was a tightly-contested game but Portrush will wonder would things have been different had lady luck not conspired to give them the worst possible start to a game that meant a great deal to the club?

On the way to Stormont, the coach carrying supporters and players broke down just outside Ballymena causing a one-hour delay.

The players then had to be ferried to the ground by taxi and by the time they arrived there was no hope of a proper warm up - not a good start.

Aaron Kerr and John McMullan close in on a Portadown player.INBM15-14 110F

Aaron Kerr and John McMullan close in on a Portadown player.INBM15-14 110F

However, that did not deter their initial enthusiasm and a brisk start saw them take the lead after ten minutes when a move begun by John McMullan subsequently carried on by Graeme Christie was finished in some style by Lewis Greene.

About fifteen minutes from the break, Portadown got the equaliser leaving the game all square at the break.

In the second half Portrush had to resume without veteran defender Peter McMullan who initially took to the field with a chest infection and was then forced to withdraw at half time.

The loss weakened the defence but Portrush were on the front foot for a period and a one-on-one between the experienced Aaron Kerr and the Portadown goalkeeper could have been pivotal in the outcome had Aaron not been thwarted in his goal attempt.

Peter Kerr sets out to tackle a Portadown player during the cup final.INBM15-14 106F

Peter Kerr sets out to tackle a Portadown player during the cup final.INBM15-14 106F

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Portadown then hit the post and goalkeeper, Trevor Kirkpatrick, who plans to retire at the end of the season, made an outstanding save to keep the scores level.

Portadown’s winner came after Portrush had temporarily stopped play thinking the game would be halted for an infringement. However, it wasn’t and with Portadown surging forward in numbers, the Portrush defence were caught out and it proved an easy score.

There were no complaints from the local lads afterwards and the players were praised for their efforts. The club would also like to thank the many supporters who came to lend their support.

Brent Smyth battles for possession during the cup final.INBM15-14 108F

Brent Smyth battles for possession during the cup final.INBM15-14 108F

POTRUSH: T. Kirkpatrick, C. Henry, P. Kerr, J. McMullan, G. Christie, A. Dalzell, P. Linton, P. McMullan, B. Smyth, B. McMullan, T. Cartmill, L. Greene, J. Hutchinson, S. Bourne, C. Hogg.

Portrush goalscorer Lewis Greene who scored the Portrush goal.INBM15-14 111F

Portrush goalscorer Lewis Greene who scored the Portrush goal.INBM15-14 111F

Andy Dalzell about to take a line-ball shot.INBM15-14 112F

Andy Dalzell about to take a line-ball shot.INBM15-14 112F