The first derby clash of the season between these two Junior 7 sides ended in a draw.

Although Down will be kicking themselves they didn't bag maximum points against a very experienced Saintfield outfit.

The Demesne outfit included Bertie Hamilton, Ivor Johnston, Sammy Davidson, Dougie Reid, Ian Weir and Lawrence Murphy in their line-up, while Down blooded a number of youngsters, with Stephen Callum making his home debut at Malone Park.

Trevor Lennon's young charges are determined to secure one of the two promotion spots up for grabs and Saintfield are also keen to move up to Junior 6.

Richard Tarbotton went close for Down early on, while at the other end, Stewart Clydesdale was forced to make a number of routine saves.

Gavin Laverty, fresh from his impressive performance for the home side's second eleven, also played well and Stephen Strain carved an opening for himself in the first half.

Saintfield, who were playing their first game of the season after last week's game against Kilkeel fourths was called off, relied on Murphy to keep them in the game early on.

The experienced trio of Weir, Davidson and Hamilton, made Down's youngsters work hard and they emerged at the end with credit.

Clydesdale was again called into action in the second half as the visitors threatened to score, with both Reid and Weir denied by the young 'keeper.

For Down, Laverty and Tarbotton kept running all day and look certain to be staking a claim for a place in the senior side in seasons to come.

Strain had a great opportunity to seal both points for the home side in the closing  stages, but his effort was saved by Murphy and both sides had to settle for a draw.