The big derby battle at The Demesne saw Down thirds emerge victorious in this first round Strabane Cup tie against Saintfield seconds.

The tie between the Junior 7 sides had to be settled in extra time and with their passage into the second round assured, the locals will be hoping they can go all the way in a competition they lost 11 years ago.

Down could not have met their rivals on a better occasion as the home side was ravaged by the loss of a number of experienced players who were called up for the senior side's McClements Cup tie against Larne.

The home side was missing the experienced Ivor Johnston, Sammy Davidson, Davy Hobbs and Nigel Patterson, while Down were able to field the bare eleven for a cup tie that lived up to expectations.

Down may have emerged victorious after extra time, but they were made to fight every step of the way, thanks to goals from Cecil Telford J B Wade and Trevor Lennon.

The sides were evenly matched during the opening minutes, with Down's Davy Moreland the busier of the two 'keepers. He had an outstanding game, making a number of great saves to keep his side in the tie.

Neither side was able to produce the breakthrough in the first half with play breaking down either in or close to the penalty area. At the back for Down, Willie Price and Philip Brown were both outstanding, making life difficult for the Saintfield strikers.

After a scoreless first half, Saintfield seized the initiative in the second when Dougie Reid scored when he was left unmarked at the back post and fired past Moreland.

Down's young guns of David Ferris, Peter Mohan and Philip Moreland chased and harried all afternoon and their infectious enthusiasm rubbed off on those around them.

The visitors tried to haul themselves back into the game, but it looked as though it was going to be one of those days when a single goal was going to decide the outcome of the cup tie.

With five minutes to go, Down drew level after being awarded a short corner. While the initial set piece failed to produce anything, Wade somehow managed to scramble the ball over the line during a goalmouth melee.

Down took the lead in the first period of extra time when Lennon picked out Telford who deflected the ball goalwards and was amazed to see it float into the net, with the home defenders guilty of ball-watching.

Moreland was then forced into action before the oldest player on the park booked his side's place in the second round. Lennon capped a fine performance when he popped up inside the penalty area to make it 3-1.

While disappointed to lose, Saintfield don't have to wait long for revenge as the sides meet again this Saturday in the league. The game was scheduled to be played at Malone Park, but because Down failed to travel to the Demesne earlier in the season, they have to concede home advantage.