Down seconds collected a very welcome three points at Malone Park last weekend with a deserved 4-2 victory over Kilkeel thirds.

The locals have collected six points in their last two games and with Cookstown fourths still to travel to Downpatrick, Down will be hoping they can pick up another win before the end of the season.

Last weekend's win allowed Down to leapfrog Kilkeel in the table, but it's still very tight at the bottom where a number of teams are scraping to avoid the drop.

Having lost 6-0 to Kilkeel earlier in the season, Down were keen to secure the win. They were forced to travel to Kilkeel in November with a seriously weakened team, but had the luxury of fielding a much stronger outfit last weekend.

Kilkeel took the lead in the ninth minute through Willie Quinn whose shot from the edge of the circle really should have been saved, but it wasn't and Down had to look to rebuild.

Adam McKee and Paul Tate worked hard in the middle of the park where Kilkeel's Tim Hamilton was pulling the strings for his side along with Quinn at the back, before the defender had to leave as a result of a nasty finger injury.

A number of superb balls were drilled into the Kilkeel penalty area but the Down forwards were nowhere in sight. They were then ordered to push further forward and the move worked.

Kilkeel, who travelled with a number of experienced players, were holding on at the back, but Tate popped up with the equaliser midway through the half when he pounced in the penalty area to drive the ball past the 'keeper.

Five minutes later, he gave his side the lead for the first time in the game. Collecting the ball just inside the Kilkeel half he went on a penetrating run which took him to the right hand side of the penalty area.

He was forced to go left by a defender and with Kilkeel thinking the danger was over, Tate produced a shot which flew into the bottom right hand corner of the net.

At the other end, Kilkeel were awarded to short corners, but failed to get a shot in and Down reached reached the interval with the one-goal lead in tact.

Given the crucial importance of the home win, Down went out to make the most of home advantage in the second period and within 12 minutes of the restart scored to make it 3-1.

Mark Elliott started and finished the move which led to the goal. He slipped the ball to Philip Brown on the left hand side of the penalty are and he played the perfect return pass for Elliott to score.

But Kilkeel weren't finished. They came back to make it 3-2 through Hamilton who got a touch on the ball with his back to goal to deflect it in. But Down weren't finished scoring either.

Peter Simpson was the man who popped with this side's fourth goal with three minutes to go. Kilkeel's 'keeper produced a smart save to deny Elliott, but Simpson was on hand to poke the ball home from point blank range.