Down are just 70 minutes away from completing a Senior Two league and cup double.

The Malone Park side booked its place in the final of the Senior Two Cup last Saturday with a thrilling 3-2 win over Parkview in Ballyclare.

The visitors were missing SEVEN players from the senior squad, but still managed to come up with the goods to win a game in which they were the better side on the day.

Missing alongside injured skipper Jeremy McCready were Adam McKee, Paul Neill, Sinclair White, Chris Taylor, Chris Ferguson and Mark Johnston, but Down still had enough in reserve to win.

They now face Campbellians in the final and having lost to the Belfast side in the semi-finals of the Irish Challenge Trophy, Down are out to avenge that defeat and complete what would be a deserved double given their performances over the course of the season.

Parkview created the first chance of the game when Steven McMillan broke free on the right, but his powerful shot was blocked by Down's 'keeper diving to his left to get a block on the shot.

The visitors then came more into the game, with Paul Tate and Richard Owens prominent in the middle of the park and Mark Elliott causing problems for the Parkview defenders.

It was a classic up tie with both sides keen to book their place in the final and it was the visitors who opened the scoring in the 12th minute through the unlikeliest of scorers.

Stephen Ferguson did all the hard work down the right flank and he drilled the ball across where Peter Simpson, who was making his debut for the senior side, deflected the ball into the net and was clearly delighted, along with his jubilant team mates.

Parkview created their second opportunity of the game when dangerman McMillan again got in a shot but it was saved, with James Erskine, who had an outstanding game, sweeping the pads brilliantly and hacking the ball to safety.

Aaron McDonald was pulling the strings in the middle of the park for the home side on a rather bouncy sand-based pitch, but he kept coming up against a wall of defenders.

Down kept pushing for the second goal and were caught on the break in the 20th minute after they lost possession at a short corner. The ball was drilled forward and McMillan got a touch on a cross whipped into the penalty area to deflect it into the net.

The goal was against the run of play, but Down kept battling and seven minutes before the break were back in front.

Tate went on a rampaging run through the heart of the Parkview defence and slipped the all to Richard Owens, who was once again outstanding and who got through phenomenal amount of work. When he waltzed into the penalty area he unleashed a bullet strike which flew into the bottom corner of the net.

Elliott also had a golden opportunity to make it 3-1 before Owens scored, but his deft deflection which wrong-footed the 'keeper, crept past the wrong side of the post.

Meanwhile, Philip Brown, another second eleven player drafted into the senior side, worked alongside Owens, Tate and Ferguson to deny Parkview space in the middle of the park and Down were delighted to go into the break with a one-goal advantage.

The visitors were expecting Parkview to come out with all guns blazing at the start of the second half but they were kept in check by the magnificent defence of Erskine, Gavin Ringland, Alasdair Duff and Chris Lennon who gave nothing away.

Parkview's first short corner of the game came in the 46th minute, but McMillan's drag flick was palmed away by Down's 'keeper who should have got something on the Parkview striker's next attempt which found the back of the net to make it 2-2.

There were more than 20 minutes to go and it was game on. But once again it was Down, despite having so many players unavailable who took the game by the scruff of the neck and scored again to make it 3-2.

A short corner saw the ball worked to Owens and with the Parkview defence expecting him to shoot, he slipped the ball to Elliott who tucked it away with aplomb, just as he has done so often over the course of the season.

With 12 minutes to go a frenetic finale was assured and while Parkview were reduced to nine men in the closing stages and Down to 10 men, the visitors held on for what was a deserved victory.

They will now be hoping to win the cup final to complete a memorable season and use the success of the past few months as the launch-pad to stay in Senior One next season.