Ricky Dunlop grabbed two goals from the spot on Saturday, as Portstewart had to make do with a 2-2 draw against Chimney Corner.
Spectators were treated to a phyical encounter as the championship two sides locked horns for the first time this season.
The visitors ended the tie with only nine men as the referee sent two off for second yellow cards. Chimney Corner opened the scoring following a defensive error, but Dunlop equalised minutes later from the spot after a foul on Owen Moody.
Moody and Doherty had good efforts saved but the scores were level at the break. Corner grabbed a goal early in the second half, but soon after they were reduced to ten men. Portstewart took advantage of the extra man and pushed forward. The visitors were then reduced to nine men as the referee sent another Chimney Corner player off for a second yellow.
With eight minutes left on the clock, the home side were awarded another penalty when White was fouled in the box. Dunlop made no mistake to level matters. Doherty and Turner had chances to win the tie, but it wasn’t to be for Gary Taylor’s side.
The Portstewart boss was pleased with the display, but felt that his side had done enough to secure the win.
“They are a half decent side, but I felt that we had done enough to win the match. Ryan Doherty and Owen Moody were kicked all over the park, and to be fair the referee had a hard job to do on the day.”
Portstewart entertain Mountjoy this Saturday in the NW Craig Memorial Cup. “This is a Cup we’d like a good run in, “ admitted Taylor.