Gary Liggett (35)

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Adam Salley (55)

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Gary Liggett grabbed the opening goal of the season (©INPHO/Matt Mackey)

VILLAGERS AND PORTS SHARE THE POINTS AFTER SEASON OPENER

Loughgall and Portadown shared the points at Lakeview Park to kick off what promises to be a very intriguing Bluefin Sport Championship campaign.

Visitors Portadown proved to be the more industrious during the opening exchanges with Chris Lavery forcing Loughgall keeper Gareth Buchanan from a tight angle.

Buchanan got the better of Lavery again midway through the first half, this time from a Sean Mackle through ball.

However, the deadlock was broken in Loughgall's favour on 35 minutes after Jordan Gibson delivered the ball from the right for Gary Liggett to nip in unnoticed to steer an effort beyond keeper David Miskelly. 

The Ports came close to levelling nine minutes into the second half. A great ball by Ross Larkin down the right reached Greg Hall who, in turn, knocked it on for Kevin Braniff to head just wide at the back post.

But, around sixty seconds later, Matt Tipton's side did get back on level terms after Lavery supplied a superb cross for Adam Salley to beat Buchanan with a bullet header.

Both sides had their chances to secure all three points after that.

For Loughgall Andrew Hoey saw a deflected free-kick tipped over by Miskelly while, at the other end, Buchanan was alert to deal with the danger after the ball fell for Johnny Flynn from a Mackle set piece.

Loughgall: Buchanan, McVeigh, Finlay, Taylor, McCullough, Mullen, Gibson, Liggett, Hoey, Rea, Kearney subs Neill (not used), Uprichard (not used), Copeland (replaced Taylor 77), Stewart (not used), McConnell (replaced Rea 68)

Portadown: Miskelly, Flynn, Larkin, Lavery, Kilmartin, Salley, Braniff, Hall, Thompson, Wilson, Mackle subs Blair (not used), Carson (not used), Murray (replaced Wilson 55), Carmichael (replaced Lavery 84), Douglas (replaced Salley 84)

Referee: Gareth Stewart

Tags:  Loughgall  Portadown