A TITANIC battle between two great footballing teams was how the match official described this excellent game of football but unfortunately for Banbridge they were left scratching their heads as to how they didn’t come away with at least a point against the Ports on Saturday morning at Havelock Park.
The Juniors went into the game full of confidence having defeated Lower Maze on the previous Wednesday night 6 -1, with goals from McParland, Angus, Burke, Duffin, Lennon and a deflected own goal.
No quarter was asked or indeed given in this fierce local derby between two teams who have been battling it out for honours over the past three years.
Portadown who still have title aspirations, were shell shocked in the opening 15 minutes as Banbridge came out of the blocks on fire and were determined to stamp their authority on the game. However, despite all their territorial possession the locals couldn’t find that clear cut opening.
The Juniors rear-guard of Campbell, Morgan, McCandless and Devlin looked rock solid in this opening half and it was almost Portadown’s first meaningful attack, when a long ball in behind the defence wasn’t cleared and Portadown scored an underserved opener.
McCandless almost hit back immediately for the town volleying inches past the post from wide on the left wing.
But to their bewilderment the jJuniors had to go in 1-0 down at the break.
The second half again was again very competitive and clear cut chances were few and far between.
A midfield battle ensued with both sides cancelling each other out.
Banbridge did exert some pressure, but that little bit of luck needed around the box was not forthcoming and despite all their efforts they could not find an equaliser.
To their credit the Juniors continued to play their quick flowing counter-attacking football right to the end but Portadown ran out the eventual 1-0 winners.
Although the result didn’t go their way Town can take heart from a spirited combative display which on another day would have seen off any team in the league, but all credit to Portadown who are a very talented side.
Next up for the Juniors is Lisburn Distillery on Monday night with a 6.30pm kick-off
Team: Greg Kelso, Ryan Devlin, Harry Campbell, Curtis Lee McKeever, Paul Morgan, Jamie McCandless (Captain), Gavin Fearon, Gavin McParland, Mark Burke, Ryan Angus, Ciaran Duffin, David Houston, Jack Lennon, Cormac Downey, Daniel Moore, Jamie McAtamney