Down are just one win away from lifting the Senior Two title with two games to spare.

Last weekend's comprehensive win over Campbellians in Belfast saw the locals produce arguably their best performance of the season and to put the win into context, Down were missing four key players.

Paul Tate, Sinclair White, Paul Neill and Stephen Ferguson were all missing but such is the strength of the senior panel these days that they weren't missed in a game which Down dominated and could have scored a bagful more goals.

With three games to go, Down need to defeat bottom of the table East Antrim this weekend to wrap the title, despite still having to face Parkview and Ballymena. The champagne is on ice as title chasing PSNI surprisingly lost to Portrush last Saturday.

It would take an unprecedented slip-up to deny Down the title they so richly deserve given their performances over the season and they played like champions last weekend with Richard Owens the man of the match by a country mile.

He ran the show, particularly in the first half, with Campbellians using a number of different players to mark him. None could get near Owens who was imperious and a player who could just make the difference in Senior One next season.

With four players missing, Chris Ferguson and Alasdair Duff were drafted into the side. Ferguson never out a foot wrong, while Duff proved he is a class act and deserves a long run in the side.

The first action of the game involved former Down player, Andrew Bassett, who drilled the ball into the penalty area but none of his Campbellians team mates could get a touch. Owens then threaded an inch-perfect pass to Mark Elliott but the Down striker lost his footing as he was about to shoot and the chance was gone. At the other end, Down skipper, Jeremy McCready, produced a great tackle to deny a Campbellians forward.

Down were beginning to stamp their authority on the game with Chris Taylor going close with a reverse stick shot in the sixth minute and Elliott going close a minute later. Owens then wrapped the 'keeper's pads with a short corner strike in the 10th minute and Chris Lennon pounced to score the opener.

Three minutes later, Campbellians were back on level terms when Bassett's short corner strike was deflected past Mark Johnston, but four minutes later Down made it 2-1 with a goal that would have graced a premiership match. McCready picked out Owens who slipped the ball to Gavin Ringland who sent Lennon scampering away and his cross deep into the penalty area found Ringland who crashed home an unstoppable shot which almost pierced a hole in the net.

Owens then almost set up the hardworking Adam McKee before Down were awarded a penalty stroke in the 20th minute. It came after Elliott set up Ringland but his shot on goal, with the 'keeper nowhere in sight, struck a defender on the line and Chris Taylor, another of Down's top performers on the day, calmly picked his spot.

Johnston was a virtual spectator at this stage and with Campbellians waiting on the break to get reorganised, they conceded another two goals.

A superb run from deep inside his own half saw Duff denied by a great save from the home 'keeper before Down made it 4-1 and it was fitting the goal which made it 4-1 was scored by Owens whose short corner strike flew past the 'keeper. With two minutes of the half to go Down made it 5-1 when Owens teed up Lennon from a short corner and he drove it home.

Campbellians pulled a goal back from the penalty spot in the 43rd minute after a goal bound shot was stopped close to the line by McCready.

Minutes earlier, Johnston produced a terrific save to deny a Campbellians forward to make it 5-2.

Elliott, whose positional play was a problem for the home defence all afternoon, almost made it 6-2 after Owens' short corner strike was blocked, but Down did make it 6-2 in the 50th minute with a clever short corner routine. With the home defence expecting Owens to shoot, he slipped the ball to Taylor who scored his second of the game.

Elliott came close to making it 7-2 but scooped his shot over the bar while a repeat of the Owens/Taylor combination at another short corner almost resulted in the latter scoring.

McKee then flicked a shot over the bar while Owens again went close and Bassett saw a blistering short corner strike brilliantly cleared off the line by McCready.

At the other end, Owens saw a shot smack against the bar and rebound to safety before Campbellians scored a late consolation with five minutes to go when Down were caught with too many players in attacking positions.