Portadown striker Gary Twigg grabs a double to sink Dungannon Swifts

CUP DOUBLE: Portadown's Gary Twigg
CUP DOUBLE: Portadown's Gary Twigg

Both sides were guilty of sloppy defending in this Irish Cup tie – but only Portadown had the predatory Gary Twigg, and his two goals propelled them the sixth round of the Irish Cup.

Twigg struck on the12th minute when the Swifts failed to cover the far post, and the Scot bundled home a flick-on by Brian Gartland.

And 15 minutes from time, he collected a dire back-pass from Francis Brennan to round keeper Johnny Curran and sweep in what turned out to be the winner.

True, Josh Cahoon pulled one back when he caught the Ports’ rearguard flat-footed three minutes later.

But the Swifts failed to capitalise on gilt-edged chances twice – on either side of the break – when Gartland gave the ball away, with Brennan and P.J. Lavery wide of the mark.

And when the Swifts pressed for an equaliser towards the end, Portadown were dangerous on the breakaway, and a Darren Murray effort thumped the upright on the 90th minute.

Dungannon Swifts manager Darren Murphy was impressed with Ports striker Tuigg.

“Twigg was simply deadly. He had three chances and buried two, while we missed at least three.

“ It’s very frustrating as we had most of the play. It’s hard to take.”

Ports boss Ronnie McFall agreed that Twigg made all the difference.

“Gary’s has hit three goals in his first two matches with us, with four chances.

“He tried a lob for his hat-trick today which didn’t come off – but that’s a great return for a man who still has to find his full match fitness.”

The draw for the sixth round paired Portadown with Championship leaders Ards – at Shamrock Park – and McFall insisted that the home draw could be the telling point.

“We won’t be taking Ards lightly,” he commented. “But a home draw is always a great advantage in the cup, and we’re delighted about that.

We weren’t firing on all cylinders against the Swifts, but a cup run is very important. Winning the Irish Cup is another route into Europe and I’m confident we’ll have a good run.”

PORTADOWN: Miskelly, Redman, Ramsey, Murray, Braniff , Mouncey (Burns 51m), McNeill, Casement, Gartland, McCafferty, Twigg. Subs – McArdle, Mackle, Burns, Lecky, Patton.

DUNGNNON SWIFTS: Curran, Brennan, Friars, Grieve, McMinn, P.J. Lavery, C. Lavery (Gwawley 63m), Haley (Cahoon 70m), Harper, Hutchinson (O’Neill 90m), Costello. Subs – Montgomery, Glackens,Cahoon, O’Neill.

REFEREE – David Malcolm (Bangor).