Three scintillating goals in the first period of extra time ensured Down marched into the second round of the McClements Cup.

The locals had a psychological advantage over their opponents before a ball was struck in anger last Saturday after some of the Newry players complained the game was being played on shale.

At the final whistle, the state of the pitch was the last thing on the minds of the visitors who were out-played for long periods and who should have finished the game with 10 players.

Chris Lennon was fortunate he wasn't seriously injured in an outrageous tackle by a Newry player as the Down full-back was bearing in on goal. The tackle went unpunished and Lennon took out his frustration by drilling a superb reverse stick shot which had "goal" written all over it until it was palmed away by the 'keeper.

Down took the lead in the eighth minute when Gavin Ringland, who had an outstanding game and could have finished with at least four goals to his name, drilled the ball past the Newry 'keeper from the home side's second short corner of the game.

Minutes earlier, Down's 'keeper saved at his near post and then blocked a short corner pile driver before he was lobbed by Newry's captain from a second set piece. Down skipper Jeremy McCready and full-back Johnny Lennon were both on the line, but there was no communication and the ball bounced between them into the net.

Down were playing particularly well at this stage, with Ringland and the hard-working Chris Taylor causing Newry all sorts of problems.

Ringland had a rasping shot saved by the 'keeper, while Taylor blasted wide when he literally had time to pick his sport.

Midway through the half Newry scored what can only be described as an extremely fortuitous second goal. An attack along the Down right wing saw a Newry player step on the ball. Incredibly, the Newry official waved play on while the home side stopped, the ball was in the back of the net before they knew it.

Skipper McCready's halftime team talk was start passing the ball and stop panicking. He also reminded his players about Newry's jibes about the state of the pitch and the tactic worked.

Midway through the half, the skipper himself scored a brilliant equaliser after some great build up play involving Ringland and Alasdair Duff, another of Down's top performers on the day. When the ball was passed to McCready he raced into the penalty area and drilled the ball home from the acutest of angles.

For the remainder of the half, Down were camped in the Newry half and were on top. Down's 'keeper had two kicked clearances to make, but for the remainder of the game and all of extra time, he was a lone spectator.

The first half of extra time blew Newry's challenge out of the water. Down got their passing game together and three goals in a dazzling 10-minute spell killed the tie.

Ringland, who had one great shot saved and also rattled the post before

Taylor drilled home Down's third goal from a well-worked move involving McCready and Ringland. Ashley Gibson banged home his side's fourth goal from a penalty corner.

Newry were down and out, but the scoring still wasn't over and Ringland capped a brilliant performance when he made it 5-2 after great work by Taylor.

Newry rarely got over the halfway line in the second period of extra time and it is a jubilant Down side which marched into the second round of the competition.