Down seconds will look back on this game and rue a number of missed opportunities in the first half which could have put them firmly in the driving seat at the interval.

Johnny Lennon's side will finish in the top six if they can pick up a few more points during the run-in to the end of the season which has been one of moved fortune for the Malone Park outfit.

They played well during the early stages of this Junior 4 clash at the Olympia Leisure Centre and while they conceded an early goal, they battled back to score an equaliser.

Down's Colin Gibson was the architect of the move in the middle of the park and when he played James Cunningham into space, his cross was fired into the net by a jubilant Mark Leahy.

Philip Brown then had two great chances to put his side clear but he was denied and, as so often happens, Instonians fought back and got their noses in front again with the last attack of the second half.

Down were keen to get themselves back into the game as soon as possible in the second half, but they were left with a mountain to climb when they were punished twice in quick succession for failing to clear their lines.

The gave the ball away too easily and goalkeeper, Johnny Lennon, was powerless to keep his side in the game as the ball was rifled past him.

Down were trailing 5-2 when they were awarded a penalty stroke after a goal-bound shot was stopped illegally by an Instonians player on the line.

Willie Price stepped forward to score with a perfectly executed stroke, but the gloss was taken off the strike when Instonians made it 6-2 in the closing stages.

This weekend Johnny Lennon's side entertain Parkview seconds at Malone Park and will be hoping for a win. They have just a few games left and will be hoping to finish as high up the table as possible.