Down were on level terms with Portrush at one stage in this Senior Two game in Ballycastle. After that, things went down hill rapidly for the visitors.

Having defeated Saintfield 8-1 the previous weekend, Down were keen to take something from the game, but they made the long journey to the north west missing a number of influential players including James Erskine, Alasdair Duff, Philip Cheevers, Paul Neill, Sinclair White, Jordan Wade and Aaron Ferris.

The home side took the lead in the 10th minute from open play, with Portrush making the most of increasing opportunities they were getting around the back of the Down defence.

When the ball came into the circle a forward had the easy task of picking his spot past Jeremy McCready who pulled off a number of important saves over the course of the 70 minutes.

Down got back on level terms in the 16th minute from a short corner. Paul Tate's push out was stopped by Gavin Ringland who teed up Chris Taylor whose crisp shot was saved by the ‘keeper. But with Portrush defenders guilty of ball-watching, the alert Tate collected the rebound to score. But the goal sparked Portrush into life, not the visitors.

By the break, the home side led 3-1 with Down guilty of not being able to mark tightly enough at the back, allowing Portrush too much time and space.

Down striker Mark Elliott picked an injury in the first half and with no subs he moved into defence as he couldn't run the line up front. The move negated Down's attacking options, but they had no choice.

The second half was all Portrush and while they scored four more goals, McCready made sure they did not increase that tally with a number of important blocks.

At the other end, Down failed to carve out any real clear-cut chances and will be hoping to get back to winning ways at home to Foyle this weekend.

While the game was scheduled for the north west, Foyle have had to concede home advantage as they didn't travel to Malone Park to face Down in a Sussex Regiment Cup tie at the start of the season.