MID-ULSTER SENIOR CUP: Glenavon take derby bragging rights over Portadown to seal final spot
Knockout football presents the sole chance this campaign for a Mid-Ulster derby in the aftermath of Portadown's top-flight relegation - and Glenavon claimed the bragging rights at Shamrock Park along with a spot in the Mid-Ulster Senior Cup final.
Glenavon made the short home journey having recorded a 2-1 victory over Portadown - with the result effectively cemented by half-time.
Adam Foley’s previous Mid-Ulster Cup experience featured a car accident on the way to Armagh City which left the winger and young defender Caolan Marron out for almost five weeks.
However, both players celebrated a return to the side with derby delight against Portadown to help Glenavon reach the final.
Foley, who left Portadown last season, kicked off the scoring on 28 minutes then played a key role in number two as Glenavon entered the break in control.
A defensive mistake before the half-hour mark left Foley with a free path to goal and he produced a composed finish.
Glenavon’s squad covered the age range from 14-year-old youth international goalkeeper Conner Byrne to 33-year-old player/coach Kris Lindsay.
Portadown also used the cup clash to hand minutes to teenagers such as Jackson Holmes and Luke Wilson alongside veterans Kyle McVey and Kyle Neill.
The Ports’ sole first-half scoring opportunity arrived when Holmes’ teasing pass dropped via a deflection into the path of Stefan Lavery and his initial shot hit the crossbar before Darren Henderson struggled to steer home the rebound from a tight angle.
Jenkins, who has been so prolific across the levels for Glenavon, doubled the lead on 35 minutes with an assured angled drive into the bottom corner of the net. Jenkins popped up to convert a loose ball after good work by Foley.
Portadown’s second-half pressure lacked a cutting edge but Adam Salley came close with one slick shot off the crossbar.
However, substitute Peter Duffin injected some energy into a low-key second half with an acrobatic volley on 81 minutes.
It increased hopes of a frantic finish but, ultimately, Glenavon’s first-half work proved decisive to secure derby success.
PORTADOWN: McGaughey, Carson, Neill (Larkin, 56), McVey, Brennan, Kilmartin, Wilson, Holmes, Salley, S.Lavery (Ferris, 66), D.Henderson (Duffin, 46).
Subs (not used): Conlon, N.Henderson.
GLENAVON: Byrne, McGrory, Patton, Norton, Marron, Lindsay, O’Mahony, Jenkins, McCavitt, Griffin (Hunter, 79), Foley (P.Burns, 72).
Subs (not used): Curran, Parker, McKeown.