After last weekend's top performance against Saintfield in the cup, Down's senior side surprisingly lost to Larne last Saturday in their opening Senior Two game of the season.

The locals, who were missing a host of regulars, including James Erskine, Adam McKee, Mark Elliott and David Ferris, handed a debut in goal to Jordan Aidey who did really well.

The visitors created a host of chances through Chris Taylor who found himself with just the 'keeper to beat on a number of occasions. Two efforts flew over the bar, while others were saved by the home 'keeper.

Also during the first half Mark Graham almost gave his side the lead, but his shot struck the base of the post and rebounded to safety.

Having weathered the onslaught, Larne scored very much against the run of play in the 22nd minute with the goal coming as a result of some poor defending by the visitors who should have cleared their lines.

Down were keen to get back on level terms in the second period, but it was the home side which doubled its advantage.

The goal sparked an immediate response from the visitors who threw men forward and in the 46th minute Down pulled a goal back.

Skipper Jeremy McCready controlled an aerial ball and beat a defender in one movement. He then spotted Graham unmarked at the back post and although he tried to pick him out with a raking pass, young William Fryer got a touch on the ball to deflect it into the net.

The goal gave the visitors renewed hope and while they tried to force an equaliser, it was Larne who scored to lead 3-1, but there was still plenty of time for Down to salvage something from the game.

The impressive Taylor was the creator of his side's second goal. His brilliant penetrating run into the heart of the Larne defence saw him produce a terrific shot which the 'keeper saved, but the rebound fell to Chris Lennon who prodded it home.

Down went in search of an equaliser that just wouldn't come and they will be hoping for a much-improved performance against Parkview at Comber Leisure Centre this Friday night.