CRUES TOO STRONG FOR PORTS
Goals from Paul Heatley and Philip Lowry helped Crusaders defeat Portadown at Seaview.
Heatley opened the scoring for the Crues after 21 minutes when, from a counter attack, he got on the end of a Ben Kennedy flick to volley past Harry Doherty.
Portadown responded positively, coming close to levelling just three minutes later when Lee Bonis rattled the Crusaders bar with a deflection long range effort, while Sammie McLeod fired over from the resultant corner.
At the other end Heatley forced Doherty into a save as he went in search of his second of the evening, and followed that up with a bicycle kick which sailed just wide of the target.
The Ports might have levelled just before the break when McLeod tested Johnny Tuffey with a low effort from outside the box which the Crues keeper did well to parry to safety.
Declan Caddell came close again in the second half to doubling the home advantage with a glancing header from Heatley's cross but Doherty produced a brilliant stop to palm the ball behind.
Then, midway through, Adam Lecky connected with a long ball out of defence to have a go from just inside the box but he could only send his effort wide.
But that second goal did arrive six minutes from time. Philip Lowry settled the game for the Crues after meeting a Kennedy header and powering home the decisive strike.
Crusaders: Tuffey, Burns, Wilson, Weir, Kennedy, Lecky, Cddell, Forsythe, O’Rourke, Larmour, Heatley subs O’Neill (not used), Hegarty (replaced Wilson 11), Lowry (replaced Burns 77), Frazer (not used), Owens (replaced Lecky 89), Clarke (replaced Heatley 89), McMurray (not used)
Portadown: Doherty, Hall, Ruddy, McCallum, Salley, Bonis, Conaty, McLeod, Warde, Jordan subs Brown (not used), Lavery (replaced Conaty 85), Anderson (not used), S. Teggart (replaced Hall 60), Glenfield (not used), Murphy (not used), E. Teggart (not used)