Down went goal crazy in this amazingly one-sided Senior Two clash at Malone Park last weekend.

Two of the oldest teams in Ireland met head-to-head on a dank afternoon, but the home players lit up the place with a clinical display which saw them bag 13 goals. And incredibly, but for some poor finishing at times, the locals could have scored a lot more.

East Antrim knew they were on a hiding to nothing, but they deserve credit for turning up, something which other clubs don't always do because they don't want a drubbing.

Last Saturday, Gavin Ringland weighed in with four goals, one of which came from the penalty spot, while Paul Tate scored a hat-trick. But Ringland's haul should have been five as he was robbed by his skipper, Jeremy McCready who forced a Ringland shot home when it was clearly going into the net.

Richard Owens could not have asked for an easier home debut and capped a fine performance with a goal, but it was Ringland, asked to play up front in the absence of Mark Elliott, who set his side on the road to victory.

He fired Down into the lead in the seventh minute with a perfectly executed flick and his no-nonsense and powerful shooting could be a feature of Down's play this season with Owens added to the midfield.

Tate, who was a constant thorn in the side of the East Antrim defenders, made it 2-0 in the 10th minute after weaving his into the penalty area before unleashing a powerful shot which whistled past the 'keeper before he had time to move.

It was clear at this early stage that East Antrim were in for a pounding, but they refused to throw in the towel and created a number of half chances of their own.

Ringland scored his second of the afternoon after he was in the right place at the right time to pick a rebound off the 'keeper's pad following a rasping shot by livewire Tate.

Sinclair White received a temporary suspension after the umpire ruled a stick tackle was a trifle overzealous and seconds after Mark Johnston denied an East Antrim forward, Owens saw a goal-bound shot saved at the other end.

White had an immediate impact when he was allowed back on, producing a great run and cross which Chris Taylor was delighted to force home to make it 4-0 after 18 minutes.

Stephen Ferguson then blazed wide and Adam McKee saw a shot whistle past the wrong side of the post after some great work by the influential Tate who bossed the midfield all afternoon.

McKee then got his name on the scoresheet to make it 5-0 after some unselfish play by Ringland and Chris Lennon then saw a reverse stick shot flash past the post after the umpire played a terrific advantage. He could have awarded a free but, with Lennon in possession, waved play on and the Down defender was very unlucky not to score.

Owens scored on his home debut to make it 6-0 after a mazy run by Tate and Ferguson made it 7-0 in the 41st minute after a mistake by the visitors' 'keeper who time and again was left without any defensive cover.

Ringland produced a fancy piece of footwork which would not have been out of place on Strictly Come Dancing in the 54th minute to side-step two defenders and the 'keeper to fire the ball towards goal.

It was just about to cross the line when the goal was stolen from Gavin by skipper McCready who nipped in to deny Ringland. Some sloppy defending allowed East Antrim to pull a goal back, but Down simply upped the tempo and two goals in four minutes from Ringland increased his side's lead to 10-1.

Tate then completed his hat-trick in the 50th and 55th minutes respectively to make it 12-1 and then McKee completed the rout with a strike which almost burst a hole in the net, such was the ferocity of the shot. Ringland did the donkey work for McKee to collect a past and drive into the heart of the penalty area before unleashing an unstoppable shot.

This weekend, Down travel to Ballycastle to face Portrush and know another three points is a must if they are to maintain their push for promotion.