CHAMPIONSHIP TWO: Season is ‘Dun’ and dusted

PORTSTEWART finished their season in defeat, away at Dundela.

The Seasiders expected a tough test, as Dundela needed to beat the Ports in a bid to gain promotion to Championship One.

Portstewart gave a creditable performance without regulars Craig Ramsey, Gavin McKinney and Johnny Dinsmore.

Dundela took an early lead on 17 minutes when Ben Roy fired past Joel Maddison. At the other end Sam Boylan threatened, but he couldn’t find the back of the net.

Dundela’s lead was doubled just past the half hour when Dee Wright, who is the league’s leading scorer, grabbed another to put the home side 2-0 in front. A third goal before the break from Stevie McCain looked to have sealed promotion for Dundela, as Portstewart were forced to defend to keep the score down.

Ian Todd replaced Chris McNeill for the second half, as the home side continued to press.

Good defending from the Ports kept any efforts at bay until Wright grabbed his second of the game.

As the final whistle went, champagne corks popped all around the Hen Run as the Dun’s celebrated promotion.

Aaron Forgrave, Portstewart assistant manager, congratulated Dundela on their promotion and paid tribute to his side for their effort.

“We knew before the game that we would be up against it. Dundela are a good strong side with a few premiership players on loan, but credit to our boys they worked hard and there were some positive performances - Joel Maddison, Sam Boylan, Colin Finlay and Andy White.”

Portstewart finished tenth in the League, a position that Forgrave wants to improve on next season: “To be honest our final league position was fair given the young team we had this season.

“We have struggled with injury and loosing players, but the youngsters have knuckled down and I hope it has been a learning curve for them.”

Portstewart are hoping to build on the squad for the coming season: “We’re in a tough league, no game is easy in Championship Two, so we hope to bring some experience ahead of next season.”