Riada travelled to Portrush and came away with a deserved point against a side that took four points from them in last season’s two league encounters.
Portrush started well and threatened early on but it was Riada who took the lead against the run of play, new signing Mullaghan heading in via a deflection from a Johnny Wildsmith cross.
Portrush equalised just before halftime with a Willy Parsons volley from the edge of the box which found the bottom corner.
Riada started strongly in the second half with some route one football paying off as a long punt from Graham was flicked on by Mullaghan and superbly finished by the onrushing Duffy. Portrush then piled on the pressure in search of an equaliser and found it as the ball was lashed in after a good cut back from the left. The Riada players were dismayed as the ball was at least two to three yards out of play before the cross, a fact later confirmed by the Portrush linesman. With Riada reeling and feeling hard done by they then conceded again from a close range header. With Riada seemingly heading for defeat Mullaghan broke down the left cut inside and fired low across keeper Carton finding the bottom corner with a precise finish.
Riada Manager Richard Mooney was happy with a point in the opening league game. “We would have probably taken a point before the game given this was one of our harder away games of the season. Portrush are a big physical side and beat us comfortably last season so we are pleased with a point. The lads are abit disappointed in the manner of Portrush’s second goal when the ball was clearly out of play but we were also lucky not to concede a penalty late on so it evened itself out. I was happy with the way the team fought to the end and was nice for them to be rewarded with the late equaliser, a great finish by one of the new signings Mullaghan.”