A NINTH wicket century stand saved Academy’s blushes in their opening Senior League Section 2 fixture of the season.
Mark Shields’ lads were in deep trouble at 75 for 8 when Richard Wilson and David Moore came together, and their late stand of 102 runs ensured that the hosts were able to post a respectable total of 177 all out in the 46th over.
Wilson top-scored with 64, with the next-highest scorer being skipper Shields with 18, while the club’s all-time highest scoring batsman David Greenlees managed only 11.
Off spinner Brian Boyd led the assault when Portadown got to the crease and his 5 for 19 off 8.2 overs was the best return of the afternoon.
Former Larne seamer Jonny King had a successful debut with figures of 2 for 23 off 5, with support from 14-year-old Francis Collins 2 for 21 off 5 and Wilson 1 for 15 off 3, resulting in the Co Armagh side being dismissed for 110 in 25.2 overs.
Academy secretary Jack Quinn said: “It was a fairly good wicket at our new home base at Castle Grounds on the Antrim Road, yet batsmen on both sides struggled to get runs.
“It looked bleak for us when eight wickets were down with only 75 runs on the board. At that stage we would have settled for taking the total in to three figures, but then we had that magnificent rearguard action that produced over a hundred match-winning runs that secured victory by 67 runs.”
This weekend Academy travel to Laurelvale to fulfil a league fixture.