Down seconds failed to secure the Junior 4 title in a play-off against Bangor fifths at Deramore last week.

Both sides finished level on points at the top-of-the-table and also secured promotion, but a promotion play-off was required to decide who would go up as champions.

Down started well, with Colin Gibson, James Cunningham and Raymond McClurg holding their own in the middle of the park, while at the back Trevor McClurg and man-of-the-match, Johnny Lennon were excellent.

Bangor, who drew 2-2 with Down at Malone park just over a month ago, took the lead in the fifth minute following their second short corner of the game.

Down were bitterly disappointed they allowed Tim Cooke to score from a set-piece which they should have dealt with a lot more comfortably.

But going a goal behind provided Down with the spark they needed and they dominated the game for the next 15 minutes, with Ashley Gibson and Mark Elliott both going close.

Elliott saw one shot scream past the outside of the post, while Gibson was unlucky not to score from several short corner attempts.

But it was Bangor who took a 2-0 lead with a bizarre goal from Mike Ferguson who ran from just inside the Down half to score, despite the close attentions of Trevor McClurg. When he reached the edge of the penalty area, the Bangor player steered the ball past Stephen Moffatt who had been left cruelly exposed.

Down could easily have given up the fight at this stage, but they bounced right back and reduced the deficit through Ashley Gibson who scored with a powerful shot following a short corner.

Cunningham then had a goal-bound shot blocked while the impressive James Erskine, who moved up to support the attackers, also saw his shot cleared by a defender.

Bangor tried to increase their advantage, but some stout defending by Lennon kept them at bay. In fact apart from the two goals they scored, they didn't manage another shot on goal in the opening 35 minutes.

Elliott again went close at the other end while Gibson again went close from another short corner set-piece before the half ended.

Bangor upped the tempo in the second half and while they enjoyed much more of the possession, it was Down who drew level.

Elliott was the man who finished off a move following a goalmouth melee and while Bangor tried to get their noses in front almost immediately, Moffatt produced a superb double save and managed to sweep the ball away from the danger area with his stick.

Bangor's pressure was beginning to tell and with 10 minutes to go they made it 3-1. A forward's goal-bound shot struck Trevor McClurg on the foot while he was behind the goal-line and while the umpire appeared to initially award a penalty stroke, he then pointed to the centre circle and awarded the goal.

Down tried to stage one last effort to score an equaliser to send the play-off into extra time, but they couldn't and it was the Bangor players who celebrated at the end.

The locals were far from disgraced and can look forward to locking horns with Bangor in Junior 3 next season.