This derby tie created a number of talking points, not least a goal for either side under a controversial new rule which has been introduced this year.

Shots from outside the penalty area which deflect off any stick or the goalkeeper into the net will now be awarded which is going to cause major headaches for not only defenders but umpires as well.

Goals scored via deflections by Down and Saintfield during this Sussex Regiment Cup tie at The Demesne were awarded after both umpires had to confer in the wake of appeals by both teams.

Saints skipper Stephen Tate created a chance for young Jamie Kirkpatrick in the second minute but he was denied a goalscoring opportunity by Jordan Wade who had tracked back to clear the danger. Two minutes later, Conor Ferguson's reverse effort from just inside the penalty area struck Down 'keeper David Moreland on the chest, with the ball deflected wide of the goal. Wade then went close at the other end after a penetrating run by Chris Taylor.

Saintfield's Lawrence Murphy was caught in possession by Mark Graham but the winger couldn't produce the killer pass with Paul Neil unmarked at the back post. Three minutes later Down were awarded their first short corner of the game when Graham's cross struck Aaron Kearney on the foot inside the Saints penalty area.

From the resultant set piece, Gavin Ringland's blistering shot had "goal" written all over it, but Saintfield 'keeper Alastair Patterson produced a great save. Three minutes later the Saintfield 'keeper had to be at his very best again, producing an equally impressive save to deny Taylor.

Down were made to pay for those missed opportunities in the 10th minute when the hosts took the lead. Sammy Davidson picked out Mark Tate with a precision pass and the latter beat Moreland at his near post. Saintfield almost made it 2-0 minutes later when Mark Tate picked out Ferguson, but the midfielder's control let him down at the decisive moment.

Gavin Kirkpatrick, who was leading the line for the home side, then saw his shot saved by Moreland in the 17th minute, while Mark Tate's lofted shot struck Moreland in the chest, with the ball again rebounding to safety.

Patterson was forced to palm away a Graham shot on the reverse in the 28th minute as Down upped the tempo, but the visitors couldn't grab an equaliser before the break.

Disaster struck the visitors within 15 seconds of the restart when a ball pumped forward straight from the hit out was missed by everyone. Mark Tate looked set to score but Gary Brown produced a brilliant tackle, but the ball broke to Stephen Tate who steered it home.

Down pulled a goal back in the 39th minute when Ringland managed to beat Patterson with a bullet short corner strike before the Down man went agonisingly close with another short corner strike moments later.

Then came the game's first goal under that controversial new rule. A ball drilled into the Down penalty area deflected into the net off Moreland's pads. Saintfield claimed the goal which was allowed to stand after the umpire conferred. It was the right decision.

With nothing to lose, Down threw men forward and another short corner strike by Ringland was deflected over the bar by Murphy who produced a brilliant block. The pressure was mounting and Down made it 3-2 in the 53rd minute after substitute Jeremy McCready's shot was saved at point blank range by Patterson, but the ball broke to Wade who fired it home.
McCready was making a nuisance of himself and with nine minutes to go his shot was saved by Patterson during a goalmouth melee and then the Down skipper had to watch Kearney clear his goal-bound shot off the line with Patterson beaten.

With five minutes to go, Down scored to make it 3-3. The umpire ruled a ball drilled into the Saintfield penalty area hit a stick on its way into the net, but Saintfield were unhappy, arguing the ball hadn't taken a deflection.

With three minutes to go the impressive Ferguson set up Gavin Kirkpatrick and while all alone in front of goal he missed the target and the chance to win the game for Saintfield had gone. In the dying seconds, Davy Hobbs picked out Ferguson with a raking pass, but the midfielder failed to control the ball and the chance was gone.