Down thirds dropped a vital point at Ballymena last weekend in a game they dominated.

James Cunningham is determined to lead his side into Junior 6 next season and having already defeated Ballymena at home, was keen to defeat them in their own back yard.

The home side opened the scoring in the 11th minute with a shot from a short corner which 'keeper, Stephen Moffatt, almost kept out. He got his pads to the ball, but it rebounded off them into the net.

From that moment on it was all one-way traffic and Down were bitterly disappointed at the end that they didn't bag both points.

With 10 minutes to go before the interval, Down got back on level terms when they awarded a penalty stroke.

Philip Moreland did all the hard work and drove the ball towards an empty net, but it was kicked clear by a Ballymena defender. Up stepped Cecil Telford and while he didn't get much purchase on the ball, there was just enough to take it over the line.

With the umpire about to blow for half-time, Telford had only the 'keeper to beat to out his side 2-1 ahead, but the netminder managed to deflect the ball over the bar with a great stick save.

In the second half, Down dominated proceedings. Trevor Lennon and Gary Brown both went close, but neither could find a way past the Ballymena 'keeper.

Despite all Down's efforts, they couldn't score a second goal to claim both points and will be hoping to put things right when they face Lisnagarvey sevenths at Malone Park this Saturday.