Portadown 1 Ballinamallard Utd 0 Ballinamallard United's bid to confirm their Premiership status for next season will go on until at least tomorrow following their 1-0 defeat to a battling Portadown tonight.

Teenager Ross Larkin's second half winner kept the Ports slender survival hopes alive and both teams will be keeping a close eye on Carrick's clash away to Ards tomorrow.

If Carrick fail to win, then the Mallards safety will be guaranteed with three games to go while the Ports know that they have to win all their remaining games and Carrick have to lose all of theirs for the Shamrock Park outfit to avoid automatic relegation.

The Mallards went close early on as Stuart Hutchinson hit the post while Ryan Curran had a shot pushed over the bar by Ports keeper McCaughey midway through the half.

Curran then had an effort cleared off the line by Larkin in the opening stages of the second half but with 57 minutes on the clock the Ports took the lead with Larkin popping up at the other end to slot home a Garrett cross.

Ballinamallard pressed hard after this for an equaliser but they could not find a way through a determined Ports defence as the home side held on for a 1-0 win.