Down thirds bowed out of the Strabane Cup, losing 5-3 in an eight goal thriller.

James Cunningham's side fought back to level the tie at 3-3 at one stage, but two goals by the visitors in the closing stages dumped them out of the cup.

Down took the lead in the fourth minute of what proved to be a cracking cup tie. Skipper Cunningham saw his short corner strike saved by the 'keeper but when the ball rebounded off his pads, Philip Moreland nipped in to give his side the lead, with Mossley defenders guilty of ball-watching.

Down were delighted to get their noses in front, but Mossley roared back to score an equaliser just a minute after Moreland's terrific opener.

Down were determined to enjoy a cup run this season and just before the interval they took the lead for the second time in the game.

Cunningham was again heavily involved and he set up the experienced Trevor Lennon who drove the ball past the 'keeper.

Down knew Mossley would come out strong in the second period and that they would have to be on top form to keep them at bay. And, with 14 minutes to go, everything was going according to plan.

Then Mossley scored to level the tie at 2-2 when they scored from play and before Down had time to react, the visitors went 3-2 ahead.

With nothing to lose, Down threw men forward in search of an equaliser and it duly came with 10 minutes to go after some persistent pressure saw the home side awarded a short corner.

The ball came out to Lennon who slipped it to Cecil Telford. Rather than shooting, he teed the ball up for Cunningham who smashed it into the back of the net.

The cup tie was now well and truly up for grabs but luck deserted Down in the closing stages when Mossley were awarded a short corner. A forward's shot was going harmlessly wide before it struck a team mate's stick and deflected past Stephen Moffatt.

Down threw men forward in the closing stages in a bid to force the tie into extra time, but Mossley exploited the space at the back and Moffatt was left exposed as Mossley booked their place in the next round by scoring their fifth of the game.

This weekend it's back to Junior 7 league action for Down when they face Civil Service sevenths at Stormont.