Down seconds are off to a brilliant start in Junior 3 this season.

They have nine points after four games and are playing with renewed confidence behind new 'keeper, Robert Hagan, who has been outstanding and was again in the thick of the action in Hillsborough last Saturday.

Gary Tate's men face Cookstown fourths away this weekend and while the game will be tough, they can relax in the knowledge that they have much-needed points in the bag so early in the new season.

Lisnagarvey fifths, promoted from Junior 4 last season, were keen to make the most of playing at home on the astro, but it's a surface which Down are more than comfortable on. So it proved last weekend.

The visitors carved out the first meaningful chance of the game in the seventh minute when Chris Ferguson saw his name in lights as he drove into the Lisnagarvey penalty area, but he miss-hit his shot.

Both sides struggled early on, with Down's Philip Brown unlucky not to score in the 15th minute after some terrific work by Paul Tate. He fired over a superb cross which Brown just failed to control.

Three minutes later, Hagan produced a great save to keep his side in the game and Lisnagarvey were disappointed when a "goal"  they scored from a short corner was ruled out for being too high.

Lisnagarvey started the second period at a higher tempo and Hagan had to be alert in the opening minute when he produced a fine save following a penalty corner. Three minutes later, Down's 'keeper produced another fine save from another short corner.

Gavin Ringland produced a superb interception in the 41st minute to deny a home forward a shooting chance, while at the other end Paul Tate had to hurry his shot and the chance was gone.

Brown was left holding his head in his hands in the 43rd minute. His ferocious shot looked destined for the back of the net, but the home 'keeper somehow managed to claw the shot away to safety.

Down took the lead in the 51st minute when Ringland drove home following a penalty corner, with the strike signalling a late rally by the home side, but Hagan was refusing to be beaten.

He produced a number of great saves and also denied Lisnagarvey from the penalty spot. With just seven minutes to go, the 'keeper produced a brilliant point-blank save to guarantee his side all three points.