Down completed a Senior Two league double over derby rivals Saintfield at the Demesne last weekend.

The home side finished the game with just nine men after Davy Johnston and Nigel Calvin were both red-carded 10 minutes from time.

Down could and should have won by a much bigger margin. The Malone Park outfit played particularly well and recovered from conceding a soft goal to claim all three points.

Saintfield were missing the influential Richard Owens and Gavin Kirkpatrick and while Alan Buchanan was outstanding in the middle of the park, the home side lacked bite and penetration.

For both sides it was their penultimate game of the season and as far as local derbies go, it was a tame affair, until the red mist came down and Johnston and Calvin were dismissed in the closing stages.

They felt Saintfield should have been awarded a penalty corner when Down’s ‘keeper cleared the ball, only for it to crash against Johnny Lennon’s stick and go over the by-line. The umpire rightly awarded a long corner, but both Saintfield players disagreed.

Saintfield took the lead in the seventh minute through Lawrence Scott after Down skipper, Jeremy McCready, needlessly gave away two unnecessary frees. First he got caught in a tangle with Davy Hobbs and then fouled Johnston.

The latter incident allowed the home side to take a quick free and the unmarked Scott squeezed his shot between the ‘keeper and the post. But

Down didn’t panic and within 20 minutes were 3-1 ahead and also had a “goal” disallowed.

Ashley Gibson fired his side level with a superb team goal. Duff, McCready, Taylor and Stephen Ferguson were all involved and when the ball was drilled into the penalty area, the unmarked Gibson beat Graeme Finlay.

Five minutes later Gavin Ringland made it 2-0 after Down made a mess of a short corner routine. The ball eventually found its way to Ringland who was just inside the penalty area with his back to goal. He swivelled on a six pence and drilled it into the net.

At the other end, Johnston’s drive looked destined for the back of the net, but was saved by Down’s ‘keeper. Two minutes later his side were 3-1 ahead. This time Down got their act together during a short corner routine and Chris Taylor drilled the ball into the net.

Also in the first half, Ringland crashed a shot against the crossbar and Philip Brown was unlucky to see his well-struck effort strike the base of the post and rebound to safety.

After the break, Hobbs and Buchanan tried to inject some life into the home side and Chris Telford pushed further forward on the left hand side. But Down were always comfortable. Johnston did manage to get a shot in on goal from a short corner, but it was comfortably saved.

With Saintfield pushing men forward, they left open spaces at the back, with just Sammy Davidson and Archie Gregge left to defend. Gibson missed a sitter in the 55th minute, but he sealed a superb individual performance with his second goal of the afternoon in the 58th minute after good work by Taylor.