Portadown and Warrenpoint Town stretched the friendly aspect beyond the normal pre-season paramaters as the hosts’ hospitality extended to a special half-time presentation.
Former Ports goalkeeper David Miskelly retired from the game late last year following injury issues and joined Warrenpoint Town as assistant manager for the club’s Championship title run-in.
His return to Shamrock Park was celebrated with a gift from the Portadown Supporters’ Society in recognition of the player’s 12-year period at the club.
The links, of course, stretched past Miskelly in a game in which newly-promoted Warrenpoint Town defeated recently-relegated Portadown by 2-1.
Town boss Matthew Tipton enjoyed success as a striker within the Portadown frontline and first-team coach Chris Wright guided the club’s thirds to a string of silverware.
The visitors’ substitutes’ bench included another forward who previously found the net in Ports colours in Darren Murray, with Jordan Lyttle and Sean Mackle also past players at Shamrock Park.
Laurelvale-born Jordan Dane and Stephen Murray, a former striker with Portadown-based St Mary’s in the Mid-Ulster Football League, completed the ties.
Murray grabbed the only goal of the first half with a powerful header on the half-hour mark to convert Luke Fisher’s cross.
Clear sights of goal proved few and far between but Portadown’s hopes of an automatic return to the Irish League’s senior stage gained encouragement from promising signs by forwards Darren Henderson and Kevin Amuneke.
Teenager Luke Wilson continued the composed form he displayed during last season’s breakthrough into first-team football with another assured performance.
Kyle McVey, one of a series of summer signings by Ports boss Niall Currie during his rebuilding plans, frustrated the visitors with a clearance off the line from Darius Roohi’s attempt.
Chris Lavery’s second summer goal at Shamrock Park in four days left the sides on level terms.
However, within minutes it was 2-1 to Warrenpoint when Martin Murray managed to deceive goalkeeper Chris McGaughey with a quickly-taken free-kick. Murray spent a loan spell as a teenager under Currie at Loughgall.
Jackson Holmes, another of the Ports’ bright young talents, came close to a spectacular equaliser but his curling effort from wide bounced off the crossbar.
PORTADOWN: Chris McGaughey, Kyle Neill, Kyle McVey, Adam McCallum, Mark Carson, Kevin Amuneke, David McCullough, Luke Wilson, Matt Hazley, Chris Lavery, Darren Henderson. Subs: Lewis Hunter, Ross Larkin, Jackson Holmes, Ben Roy, Niall Henderson, Nedas Maciulaitis, Adam Salley, Shea McGerrigan, Trialist A.
WARRENPOINT TOWN: Alan Blayney, Liam McKenna, Jordan Dane, Stephen Moan, Seanna Foster, Josh Lynch, TJ Murray, Luke Fisher, Sean Mackle, Martin Murray, Stephen Murray. Subs: Matthew Parker, Jordan Lyttle, Curtis Dempster, Darius Roohi, Darren Murray, Darius Roohi, Darren Murray, Trialist A, Trialist B, Trialist C.