Malone Park was one of only a handful of grounds to emerge unscathed from the arctic conditions which gripped parts of the Province last weekend.

The entire hockey programme was virtually wiped out by the weather but the shale surface in Downpatrick was playable.

Down seconds extended their unbeaten home record with a comfortable win over bottom-of-the-table Antrim thirds to set the locals up nicely for this Saturday's trip to Bangor.

Gary Tate's men have been unable to field teams in recent weeks due to a chronic shortage of players, but they had a full complement last Saturday.

The weekend win takes Down's total to 31 points and with two thirds of the season gone, they are sitting pretty in a league which is one of the most competitive in junior hockey.

The home side took the lead in the 11th minute following a sweeping move involving a number of players.

Full-back Chris Lennon started and finished the move which led to the opener. He fed Richard Tarbotton with the midfielder moving the ball on to Mark Graham who intelligently picked out Lennon who had continued his run into the Antrim penalty area where he pulled the trigger to rifle home.

At the other end, Down 'keeper, Robert Hagan, had a largely uneventful afternoon, although he was forced to make several saves to deny any chance of scoring.

Down created a host of chances over the 70 minutes and the fact they finished with just three goals was as a result of some pretty poor finishing at times.

The locals failed to increase their advantage before the break and were determined to do better, a lot better, in the second half.

The first gilt-edged chance of the second half fell to Philip Brown who was picked out by a long, raking pass from Willie Price. But after rounding the 'keeper, Brown's control let him down at the vital moment with the goal at his mercy.

The home side went 2-0 ahead in the 49th minute when the influential Adam McKee fired home from the edge of the penalty area after another fine build-up.

With just 10 minutes to go, Down scored a third with Lennon popping up with his second goal of the afternoon.

The goal came courtesy of a short corner and once the defender had the ball under control there was only going to be one outcome with the ball crashing against the backboard.

Bottom-of-the-table Antrim offered little resistance as they contemplate life in Junior 4 next season while Gary Tate's men focus on what could be a difficult away trip to Bangor this weekend.