Portadown storm to kings of Mid-Ulster crown with five-star final triumph over Dungannon Swifts

Portadown’s ultimate ambition will remain a permanent place back at the Irish League top table but a devastating first-half display over Dungannon Swifts has left Niall Currie’s second-tier squad kings of Mid-Ulster.
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Promotion out of the Championship still stands as the most significant step forward open to protect the future of the four-time top-flight champions but a Mid-Ulster Cup triumph by 5-2 secured a first piece of senior silverware since 2009 and left the Ports with a perfect statement of intent to carry into future knockout and league goals.

The initial exchanges, naturally given the strong winds, featured both sets of players adjusting to the conditions but Portadown engineered a promising opening on eight minutes for Ryan Mayse that, ultimately, resulted in a corner-kick. From that set-piece play the Ports kicked off the scoring when Eamon Fyfe hooked home after Mayse’s dangerous corner-kick.

It would prove the first in a showpiece treble by Fyfe.

Portadown celebrate a 5-2 success over Dungannon Swifts in the Mid-Ulster Senior Cup final. (Photo by National World)Portadown celebrate a 5-2 success over Dungannon Swifts in the Mid-Ulster Senior Cup final. (Photo by National World)
Portadown celebrate a 5-2 success over Dungannon Swifts in the Mid-Ulster Senior Cup final. (Photo by National World)

Mayse put goalkeeper Alex Henderson under pressure with another dangerous in-swinging corner-kick then a repeat delivery seconds later was guided home by Luke Wilson for 2-0 on 13 minutes.

Mayse was proving in sparkling form against former club Dungannon and only a spectacular diving stop at full stretch by Henderson prevented a third Ports reward.

A low drive by Mayse then forced Henderson to claim at the second attempt.

James Knowles showed his skill from set-pieces with a free-kick from deep met in the packed penalty area bv Cahal McGinty past the half-hour mark but Gareth Buchanan gained a key glove to tip it past the post.

Mayse capped his first-half flourish with the finishing touch on 40 minutes, slotting home after a determined Ciaran Dobbin cut the ball back tight on the line.

Thomas Maguire enjoyed an impact after his introduction as a second-half substitute with a composed finish on 57 minutes.

However, hopes of a Swifts fightback were dealt a blow moments later as Fyfe doubled his tally to make it 4-1.

The Swifts’ response featured a Knowles attempt which cleared the crossbar and some swirling, teasing balls into the box but without the goal gains enjoyed by Portadown.

Mayse’s sole blemish on a starring role arrived when he hit the upright from a central position off Kenneth Kane’s low cross.

Fyfe closed out Portadown’s night with a final flourish by wrapping up his hat-trick.

Dean Curry had the final say on the scoresheet by converting Knowles’ free-kick to cut the deficit.

DUNGANNON SWIFTS: Henderson, J.Scott, Curry, Knowles, Devine, Glenny, Gallagher (Alves, 46), McGinty, Hutchinson, A.Hegarty (Moore 46), Galvin (Maguire, 46).

Subs (not used): Dunne, C.Hegarty, Taggert, Ximenes.

PORTADOWN: Buchanan, D.Wilson (Montgomery, 46), L.Wilson, Chapman, Mayse, Russell (Kane, 58), Fyfe, Henderson, Traynor, Thompson, Dobbin (Murray, 73).

Subs (not used): Hogg, Coyle, Redman, McCawl.

Referee: Lee Tavinder.

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