Portrush Seconds into final as Firsts close in on title

Portrush Seconds players Graeme Christie in action.
Portrush Seconds players Graeme Christie in action.

On the day that Portrush Firsts came within a whisker of clinching the Senior League two title the Seconds were also making their mark by reaching the final of the Minor Cup with a hard fought 2-1 win over Instonians Fifths at Dermaore Park, Belfast.

It was a game Portrush were determined to do well in and the players rose to the occasion against a resilient and, at times, dangerous Instonians outfit.

Portrush began strongly and dominated the early stages, but it wasn’t until ten minutes before half time that they made the breakthrough when a neat interchange of passing involving Andy Dalzell and Peter Kerr resulted in Graham Christie flicking the ball home from close range.

The second half saw Portrush again take control at the outset but they couldn’t manage to find the all-important second goal. And to their dismay, Instonians levelled matters with a lucky own goal which could have drained the confidence from Portrush.

It didn’t and the team hit back in determined fashion and with only a short time remaining a Philip Linton short corner found Peter McMullan who blasted the ball past the keeper. It was fitting for the veteran defender to score given that it was his first success in a semi-final at six previous attempts.

Captain Tom Cartmill, who had a good game, can reflect on a solid performance from his team and he will be looking forward to the final against Portadown Thirds on March 29.

Portrush have already triumphed on two previous occasions against the Ports but they will take nothing for granted. The club would like to thank Ricky McKinnon for making the long journey on Saturday to act as umpire.

Portrush Firsts meanwhile are on the verge of the Senior Two title after a 4-2 win at Saintfield.

Portrush who broke the deadlock with a nice goal from John Dillon.

They doubled their lead when Callum McKeeman was on the end of a John Dillon pass to hit it first-time and the ball flew into the back of the net.

After the interval Saintfield were on the attack and won a short corner, from which they scored to bring the match back to life.

This goal gave Portrush a push to do better and only 10 minutes later John Dillon scored his second of the match with a fantastic reverse stick shot.

Only minutes later captain Aaron Kerr scored a fourth goal for Portrush and added to his impressive goal tally this season.

In the closing stages Saintfield grabbed a consolation goal.

John Dillon who stole the headlines, assisting in one goal and scoring two for himself and deservedly winning the Man of the Match

Portrush would like to thank coach David Price for another successful performance and most importantly the successful result.

With only only point standing between Portrush and the Senior League 2 title they will want to make sure for no slip ups at home to Parkview this Saturday.