Down seconds picked up only their second win of the season at a rain-drenched Malone Park last Saturday.

Placed bottom of Junior 3 before the start of play, the locals knew they had to take something from the game and while the scoreline suggests a narrow win, it could have been much more comprehensive.

A total of four shots were cleared off the line by the experienced Antrim defenders including former senior player, Andy Gleghorne. Former Antrim senior 'keeper, Adrian Smyth, started in attack for the visitors.

Down have been scoring regularly since the start of the season, but they have simply conceded far too many. The locals should have taken something from the previous weekend's game against South Antrim and a few weeks earlier at home to Instonians thirds, they should have won.

Last Saturday, despite particularly poor weather conditions, Down defenders Peter Simpson, Gary Tate, Trevor McClurg and Chris Ferguson stuck to their guns and formed a cohesive unit which the visitors found hard to break down.

The surface wasn't conducive to free-flowing hockey and it was the visitors who seized the early initiative, but the two shots they produced were saved and the danger was cleared.

Down struggled at times in the middle of the park where Antrim were given too much room at times, but once Down sorted this issue out they came more into the game.

Paul Tate produced a polished performance while Shaw McVeigh was again influential on the left, driving forward when the need arose and also dropping back to provide defensive cover.

With the luxury of two substitutes, the home side was able to rotate players and this was a key feature of them being able to hold on in the closing stages.

Smyth had a chance to put Antrim ahead midway through the first half, but he scooped his shot over the bar while Paul Tate went close at the opposite end.

A skirmish in the Antrim penalty area resulted in the visitors' 'keeper and Down's Chris and Stephen Ferguson both being yellow-carded. But the home players who remained on the park failed to use their heads a pepper the Antrim kicking back who wasn't wearing pads.

Antrim were not as potent in the second period and while they were awarded a number of penalty corners, they failed to get a shot in on goal. However, it was a different case at the other end where Philip Brown, Paul Tate and Stephen Ferguson saw shots cleared off the line.

Frustration was growing and with six minutes to go, Stephen Ferguson drove into the right hand side of the penalty area and unleashed a shot which flew past the 'keeper high into the net. The visitors piled men forward in search of a late equaliser, but the home side hung  on for a very welcome three points.