Down seconds started this Junior 3 game with nine men, took the lead twice and produced a terrific performance to secure a precious point.

Gary Tate's men have a never-say-die attitude which was very much in evidence against their derby rivals whom they defeated 5-1at home earlier in the season.

The locals were able to field 10 men after nine minutes of the game getting underway and despite Kilkeel holding the numerical advantage and grabbing a late goal to earn a point, the moral victory belonged to Down.

There were heroes all over the park, none more so than at the back where 'keeper Robert Hagan and the defence of Willie Price, James Erskine, Tate and Philip Brown were outstanding.

Mark Elliott, Shaw McVeigh, Cecil Telford and Gavin Ringland were superb in the middle of the park with Mark Graham harrying the Kilkeel defenders all afternoon up front.

Hagan produced the first of a string of saves in the second minute before Brown shot wide at the other end. The same player turned architect minutes later when his cross was rifled home by Telford in the 13th minute.

Five minutes later Christopher Chambers made it 1-1 before a Ringland interception set up Brown who missed the target with just the 'keeper to beat.

Down took the lead within a minute of the restart. Erskine, Graham and Elliott combined and when the ball reached Telford there was only going to be one outcome. He controlled it and smashed it past the 'keeper for a terrific goal.

Hagan produced a point-blank saved in the 41st minute to preserve his side's slender advantage before Darren Herron levelled for the the home side five minutes later after Ryan Cunningham's shot was saved.

Elliott set up Brown in the 49th minute but his shot was cleared and with 18 minutes to go Kilkeel took the lead for the first time in the game when Stuart Cracknell beat Hagan.

Despite having 10 men Down roared back and gave a clear indication they had no intention of going home empty-handed when dangerman Elliott, who was terrific all afternoon, made it 3-3. McVeigh picked out the midfielder with a precision pass and Elliott kept his cool to calmly place the ball wide of the 'keeper.

Down had stars all over the pitch and the point ensures Tate's side will probably finish in third place, just missing out on promotion. The Malone Park side completes its season with a rearranged fixture away to Civil Service thirds.