The scoreline says it all.

Down seconds were walloped by the Mourne side after the visitors yet again produced a poor performance after being ravaged by cry-offs and the unavailability of a number of key players.

A number of third eleven players were called up to fill the breach and while they did their best, the visitors were always up against it. And they got off to the worst possible start when Kilkeel were gifted a short corner by a generous umpiring decision and subsequently scored from the set piece.

The shot should have been saved and that was the pattern of things to come in the first half, with the locals going in 4-0 up at the break. Kilkeel playmaker, Tim Hamilton, did the donkey work with the smattering of teenagers around him doing all the running, while the experienced Willie Quinn snuffed out what rare Down attacks there were.

Down have failed to win away from home this season and there's little prospect of them turning things around over the coming weeks.

Teams win and lose together and while last Saturday's performance was disappointingly frustrating, the players need to stick together and make the most of home advantage between now and March.

As a result of so many cry-offs, Down were forced to play David Ferris at full-back. While the move was necessary, it curbed the visitors' attacking threat.

Two early Kilkeel goals paved the way for a home win and while they scored two more before the break, Down restored some pride in the second period, with skipper Willie Price and full-back, Chris Ferguson on top form.

Mark Graham made his debut for the Malone park side's seconds and showed a lot of promise and while Shaw McVeigh and Philip Brown worked hard in the middle of the park, time and again they were outnumbered.

The visitors did create a number of chances in the game and were disappointed not to convert any of them. Brian Hagan ran his socks off once again, but had few opportunities to test the 'keeper.

This Saturday, Cookstown fourths are the visitors to Malone Park and the players know that a big performance to secure three points is an absolute necessity.