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Darren McCauley owes his hunger for goals to Coleraine boss Oran Kearney

Coleraine 4 - Portadown 0

By Keith Thomas

Nutrition student Darren McCauley has Coleraine boss Oran Kearney to thank for his healthy appetite for goals.

His first ever hat-trick was a result of Kearney's request to add more hunger to his game and, while the University of Ulster course absorbs most of the 24-year-old's time, McCauley is beginning to savour the benefits of his change of focus on the football pitch.

"The boss challenged me to try and hit the target more often and I've been working on it," said the former Derry City midfielder.

"Previously I've been focusing on taking players on and creating openings for others. I'm enjoying the extra dimension and its helping me contribute even more.

"The whole team is eager to succeed. We owe it to the manager who has put so much faith in us."

Kearney said: "I can't help but be impressed with Darren's response.

"We all recognise that he has so much skill but now he is thinking positively about having a pop at goal himself.

"We chatted about how we could develop his contribution and he has been improving with every game."

Unbeaten at the Showgrounds since April 2012, the Ports went down to a sixth successive defeat in all competitions, piling more pressure on boss Ronnie McFall. He said: "We weren't at it for most of the time and that disappointed me."

Coleraine's biggest victory of the season was a cumulative team effort inspired by the ingenuity of the lightning-fast Ian Parkhill and crowned by the clinical finishing of winger McCauley, who struck at the end of the first-half.

He completed his hat-trick after striker James McLaughlin had killed off the Ports with Coleraine's second goal.

Kearney added: "The quality of our football was outstanding at times, so were the goals."

Coleraine: Doherty, Kane, Falconer, Beverland, Watt, Parkhill (Brown, 58 mins), McCafferty, Harkin (Higgins, 62 mins), McCauley (McGuinness, 82 mins), McGonigle, McLaughlin. Unused subs: Grissam, McClay.

Portadown: Brennan, Casement, Redman, O'Hara, Breen (Oman, 85 mins), Mackle, Ramsey (McAllister, 73 mins), Garrett, Parker, Murray (Soares, 50 mins), Twigg. Unused subs: Miskelly, Mouncey.

Man of match: Darren McCauley

Match rating 7/10

Referee: Tim Marshall (Irvinestown)

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