Down remain rooted to the bottom of Senior Two after this seven-goal thriller.

The home side was 3-0 down after 25 minutes and looked dead and buried after what can only be described as a woeful performance.

Portrush scored three at one end, while at the other, Down failed to find the back of the net despite creating eight gilt-edged chances. They roared back into the game after the break and almost sealed a sensational comeback in the dying seconds to make it 4-4.

Down have not played well all season and the simple fact is that they are not playing as a team. They do not attack as a team and don't defend like one. When a player of the calibre of Ronnie Smyth is allowed the freedom of the park, it means one thing Ñ danger. No Down player got close to him all day and no one had the nouse to man-mark him to nullify his impact on the game.
Portrush took the lead in the fifth minute when a full-back was allowed to ghost in at the near post to prod home Smith's free-hit as the Down defence was guilty of ball-watching.

Ten minutes later it was 2-0 when Smyth scored after a Portrush breakaway after Down lost possession in the opposition's penalty area. If Smyth, hadn't scored, he was surrounded by three of his colleagues he could have.

Then Down contrived to conjure up a third goal for the visitors when Minnis failed to clear his lines and McMeekin made it 3-0.

Portrush's 'keeper denied Ashley Gibson, Jeremy McCready and Chris Taylor with smart saves, but Down also created other chances. Taylor attempted to flick two penalty corner efforts, when he may have been better drilling them goalwards. Gavin Ringland also went close, but Portrush held out until the interval.

In the second half, skipper McCready reduced the deficit with a superb close range finish after good work along the right flank by Chris Lennon. He drilled a wicked cross into the danger area which McCready net on the volley to crash it into the net.

Tragically for Down, poor defending and goalkeeping allowed Portrush to score a fourth. In truth, the forward should never have got a shot in from where he was, but he did and the ball hit the back of the net.

Far from sinking Down lower, it effectively lit the blue touch paper and they roared back into the game.

Gibson made it 2-4 with a fierce drive from the edge of the penalty area; a shot which almost struck Down's prostrate skipper as he lay on the ground.

Down still weren't finished and McCready was involved in the tick of the action. He found McClurg and his goal-bound shot was forced over the line by Taylor to make it 3-3 with less than a minute to go.

In the dying seconds Stephen Ferguson almost scored a dramatic equaliser, but it wasn't to be.

Down can take great pride from their second half performance, but they must continue to attack and defend as a team. Every player has a responsibility and should start acknowledging the fact and get on with it, starting this week at home to Crossgar.