PORT Juniors pushed themselves back into promotion contention after ending a poor run of results with a deserved win over Athletic on Benburb's 4G surface.

Port raced into a two-goal lead inside 15 minutes thanks to a David McNeill solo effort on six minutes and a Ross Kearns penalty after David McNeill was fouled in the area.

Greg Maitland's left flank cross found Greg Cree who headed home within ten minutes of Port's penalty as the visitors switched off in defence.

They restored their two-goal advantage a minute before the break when Like Hemphill converted Danny Bamford's deep cross a minute before the break.

Maitland came close to reducing the defect on two occasions after the restart, with returning debutant Sean Graham standing firm in goal.

Brad Cooper had a shot blocked for Port but there was no further scoring in the second half.

Co-manager Eddie Walton was delighted with his side's display as they clocked up their first win in five outings.

He said: "We are absolutely delighted with that display.

"We got a great reaction from the boys in training at midweek and we had confidence. We started off well and got a couple of goals and then we fell away a little bit but some of the football we played in the first half was outstanding. We came good again before the break to get the third goal and win us the game."

Walton added: "We have been trying out a new shape and it worked well, with Allan Orr playing in the hole behind the front two and Berba McNeil playing further forward.

"He was quality and it's difficult for teams to cope with him when he is really on his game, as he was today.

"We defended well apart from a lapse which led to their goal. We know we have to win every game now to have a chance at promotion and that was the start of nine cup finals.

"The players are getting used to the new shape and it has freshened us up. It really suits the players we have."

Walton was full of praise for a number of players after a series of fine individual performances.

He said: "Sean Graham did really well for us on his return to the club. He has added a lot to the squad since he has been brought in and is a commanding figure in our goal.

"We were really pleased with Andy Banks display as he went into the game carrying a bit of a niggle and did really well. Gary Pettigrew played in a different position too and he filled in there really well."

Port picked up a few knocks with Brad Cooper coming on and having to be replaced himself with a knock. Ross Kearns picked up an ankle problem and will be assessed ahead of next weekend's clash with Lugar.

Port: Sean Graham, Darren Boyle, Jamie Mason, Joe Beckley, Andy Banks, Gary Pettigrew, Danny Bamford, Ross Kearns, (Brad Cooper 56) (Craig McCormick 72), David McNeil, Allan Orr (Scott Nugent 66), Luke Hemphill: subs not used: Joe Donnachie, Craig Beaton,

Next Saturday Port travel away and have a 2pm start.

There was no game for Greenock as their planned trip to East Kilbride was, predictably, an early casualty of the weather with the Showpark ground unplayable.

Next Saturday Greenock hope to extend their recent good form when they entertain the league leaders Gartcairn.

Greenock are sponsored by The Lighthouse Bar and Saveheat.

Port Glasgow are sponsored by Eldorado Tonic Wine, Sports & Leisurewear and Clarke’s Coaches.