Portadown inflicted a second defeat on Ballinamallard this season, with a narrow win at Ferney Park. The hosts had their chances, and perhaps should have been awarded a penalty, but in the end had to face up to a hurtful defeat.
Those two results mean that the Ports have clawed back 6 points on the Mallards, but 14 points still remain between the sides.
Ballinamallard enjoyed the majority of the possession in the first half with Ryan Mayse testing Chris McGaughey and Jason McCartney also going close.
Portadown netted the opener on 36 minutes from the penalty spot after referee Mervyn Smyth adjudged Johnny Lafferty to have committed a foul, and Niall Henderson scored.
The Ports could have perhaps got a second before half time, whilst Adam Lecky had a penalty shout turned down at the other end before the whistle.
The home side started the second half strongly, but were hit with a sucker punch when Stephen Hughes scored for the Ports, despite suspicions of a foul on goalkeeper James McGrath in the build up.
Shane McGinty gave Gavin Dykes side some hope when he headed in Niall Owens cross from the right, and despite some heavy pressure thereafter, they couldn't find an equaliser.
Mayse, McCabe, Lafferty and McGinty were all off target whilst McIlwaine was denied a penalty at the death when he appeared to be pulled to the ground during a corner.