Down's senior side suffered their biggest defeat in years when they crashed 9-1 at The Dub last weekend.

To say the Queen's students gave them a lesson would be the understatement of the season. The visitors were woeful. They were slow in the tackle, clearly not up for the crucial Linden Cup tie and are clearly in need of a major improvement before facing East Antrim this Saturday.

Skipper Jeremy McCready and Chris Taylor were both missing, but their absence did not leave the side so weak that it would crash to such an embarrassing defeat.

Lack of fitness was another key factor in Down's debacle and while the locals had the consolation of scoring the best goal of the game through Ashley Gibson, any more complacent displays like this and they can kiss goodbye to any hopes of winning the title.

With an outside chance of securing a place in the semi-finals of the Linden Cup before the tie got underway, Down got off to the worst possible start, conceding a goal in the 10th minute.

Queen's, who are the holders of the Linden Cup, are one of the poorer sides in Senior One and the fact they failed to finish in the top eight last season saw them playing in the Linden Cup instead of the much more prestigious Kirk Cup.

The home side's short corner routines were superb and Down could only admire them as the ball whistled past defenders into the net.

Aaron Minnis, Alasdair Duff and Chris Lennon had their work cut out at the back along with James Erskine, who was obviously still confused after reports in one paper last week that he missed several great chances against Parkview! Erskine rarely enters the opposition penalty area and certainly didn't get close to scoring last weekend.

Gibson's goal was the only highlight of a poor first half which saw Queen's score four goals. Gibson seized upon a long ball and when he had drawn the 'keeper off his line and rounded him, he kept his nerve from an acute angle to roll the ball into the net.

Down did create other half-chances in the game through Gavin Ringland and Paul Tate but on a day when they were not firing on all cylinders, they spluttered in front of goal.

With Queen's hammering home five goals in the second period, Down were delighted to hear the final whistle to provide them with an opportunity to regroup ahead of this weekend's Irish Junior Cup tie against East Antrim.