Donegal Celtic 1 Portadown 0
Donegal Celtic built a case for the defence with Saturday's opening day Premiership win over Portadown.
All eyes were on Celtic's reshuffled rearguard after conceding a shocking 89 league goals last |season.
While they lived dangerously and favoured good fortune at times at Celtic Park, midfielder Ryan Henderson said Paddy Kelly's new-look back four, that surprisingly excluded Declan O'Hara, will not be such a porous outfit this term.
Henderson was involved in the 87th minute drama that lead to debutant Darren Murray's goal — a goal that recorded a first-ever win over Ronnie McFall's |Portadown.
The former Armagh GAA inter-county player said: “It wasn't a good game and certainly not a good performance, but we showed that we have improved in terms of defending and fitness.
“Darren's goal was superb under such pressure. He and the team will benefit from that ahead of some massive games.”
Celtic face champions Linfield this weekend; Glentoran next (at The Oval) and Crusaders at Seaview on August 29 after a home clash with Ballymena United.
The Ports, who missed four key players due to suspensions, will bounce back quickly according to boss McFall.
He added: “We deserved at least a draw and I’m confident we’ll make an impact when all our players are available.”
Ports veteran Richard Clarke entered the club's detention room too, following his late dismissal — just moments after his introduction and Murray's winning strike — for hacking dowm Celtic skipper Stephen McAlorum.