This Senior Two clash was the proverbial game of two halves.

Portrush led 4-0 at the interval as a result of some poor Down defending, but the visitors rallied in the second, scoring three goals and creating chances which should have seen them return home with at least a point.

Portrush had a chance in the closing stages to make it 5-3 after being awarded a fortuitous penalty stroke, but Andy Dalzell's effort was saved by stand-in 'keeper Gavin Ringland.

Down's back four of Willie Price, Gary Tate, James Erskine and Philip Brown knew they were for a tough afternoon and while they played well for the opening period, a mix-up at the back gifted Portrush their opening goal in the 16th minute.

Ten minutes later Down were left with a mountain to climb following more confusion in the visiting defence which allowed Portrush to score a second past an exposed Ringland.

With 10 minutes to go before the break and a chance for Down to reorganise, Portrush scored a third goal when a break down the right saw the ball whipped into the heart of the penalty area for an unmarked forward to sweep it into the net.

To add insult to injury, Portrush scored a fourth before the interval whistle.

Down made a few tactical changes at the start of the second period, with Tate moving into the middle of the defence and Erskine switching to the left, with the switch putting the brakes on Portrush's attacking intentions.

Alasdair Duff pulled one goal back in the 50th minute with a rasping shot to make it 4-1 and minutes later used all his experience to draw the 'keeper off the line before producing a deft reverse stick finish to make it 4-2.

Down skipper Jeremy McCready then produced a polished finish to make it 4-3 and Portrush were on the back foot. They were under so much pressure that Down's 'keeper only touched the ball once during the second period.

Mark Elliott missed a glorious chance to make it 4-4 and with five minutes to go, Portrush were awarded a fortuitous penalty stroke.

A shot struck Brown on the foot, but his 'keeper was behind him. With Down expecting the umpire to award a short corner. he pointed to the spot. Dalzell stepped forward confidently, but his effort was well saved by Ringland.

Down were left to rue those early defensive mix-ups and that miss by Elliott late on, but will be hoping for an improved performance when they face Saintfield at The Demesne on November 12.