PORTADOWN 1 GLENTORAN 2
It was simply a matter of fulfilling a fixture with Portadown remaining fourth and Glentoran fifth in the table – the only question was whether the two managers would remain in charge of their respective clubs.
“Almost definitely,” said Glens boss Eddie Patterson after goals from Fra McCaffrey and Kym Nelson made it three straight wins to finish the season. “I’m meeting with the board on Monday night to discuss my contract and there are just a few minor issues to be ironed out.”
“No contract has been offered,” Ports’ boss Ronnie McFall, 27 years in charge at Shamrock Park, reacted. “There’s a meeting during the week and I’ll know then. That’s all I’m saying.”
The feeling is that McFall – Europe’s longest-serving football manager – will be asked to stay for at least another year, and that speculation that David Jeffery will be Shamrock-bound is just ‘paper talk’
As far the match was concerned, it had that typical-end-of-season feel about it from start to finish, with Peter McMahon answering for the Ports – he reduced the lead after 35 minutes, with all goals coming in the first period.
“We deserved at least a draw,” said McFall.”But no matter what the scores anywhere in the Premier League, the positions in the top six stayed the same. It was something of an anti-climax.”
Patterson insisted the result was a fair refection, with his young players hungry and eager. “It’s been an encouraging end to the season,” he said.
Sadly for the Ports, central defender Garry Breen was stretchered off just before the interval with a suspected broken nose. And Jason Hill played his final game for the Oval men.
PORTADOWN – Miskelly, Casement, O’Hara (Barton 45m), Breen, Ramsey, McMahon, Mackle (Stewart 56m), Murray, McCafferty, Twigg, Friars. Subs not used – Brenna, Redman, Conaty.
GLENTORAN – Morris, Henderson, Hill, Gordon, Addis, McAlorum, Nelson (Howland 71m), McGuigan, McKee (Miskimmin 63m), McCaffrey (Stewart 22m), Scullion. Subs nor used – Bradley, Garrett.
REFEREE – Raymond Crangle (Belfast).