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Ports in relegation battle as Leanne moves on

 

By John Flack

Portadown's chances of avoiding relegation from the Ulster Premier League have been dealt a huge blow by the departure of leading striker Leanne Cassels to Dungannon.

Cassels has consistently topped their scoring charts by some distance and her defection leaves a big hole up front.

Portadown currently sit bottom of the table with a solitary win over Rainey to their name.

However, they had some comfort on Saturday when the Magherafelt side lost 2-1 to Randalstown in the only top-flight game to beat the frost.

Rainey, who secured promotion to the Premier League for the first time last season, remain in danger as they are just two points better off than the Ports.

However, they were unfortunate not to take something from the game after mounting a spirited second half fightback after trailing 2-0 after just 13 minutes.

Goals from Sharon Graham and CJ McDonald put Town ahead but Charlotte Beggs pulled one back from a set-piece two minutes after the break.

Rainey pressed forward in search of an equaliser but keeper Laura Chestnutt stopped everything that came her way.

It was an important win for Harry McNeill's side, who are now six points off the relegation play-off place.

"Rainey probably deserved something, but we are delighted with the win although we didn't play particularly well," he said.

Lisnagarvey made it eight straight wins in Senior One as goals from Sarah Colgan, Jenna McQueen, Laura Gamble and Amy Brown sealed a 4-0 victory over Omagh at Comber Road.

Ballymena remain five points behind in second place after Rebekah Reynolds scored a double in a 5-2 away victory over CI Ladies while there were also wins for Armagh and Priorians.

Ulster Premier League: Randalstown 2 (S Graham, CJ McDonald) Rainey 1 (C Beggs)

Senior One: Armagh 3 (K Nesbitt, J Stevenson 2) Knock 0; CI 2 (L Ternahan, L Mercer) Ballymena 5 (C Gillespie, R Reynolds 2, C McCracken, K Young); Lisnagarvey 4 (S Colgan, J McQueen, L Gamble, A Brown) Omagh 0; Priorians 6 (E Allen 4, J Kennedy, A O'Neill) Victorians 1 (R Hewitt)

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