Down seconds turned the Junior 4 promotion race on its head with this superb win over Instonians last weekend.

The Malone Park outfit produced a scintillating display in near-perfect conditions to condemn the league leaders to a heavy defeat.

Ashley Gibson and Mark Elliott weighed in with two goals apiece and the home side could have scored a bagful more had it not been for the performance of the visiting 'keeper.

Skipper Johnny Lennon was back in the side after his recent holiday to Australia and he slipped back into the groove with relative ease in a game the locals won by a canter.

Skipper Johnny Lennon was back in the side after his recent holiday to Australia and he slipped back into the groove with relative ease in a game the locals won by a canter.

Instonians, who started the game with just 10 men, looked anything like league leaders as they were blown away by the home side's penetration in the middle of the park.

The visitors took a while to get accustomed to the shale surface as the Down midfield took control of the game. Paul Neill and Colin Gibson were outstanding, while the home side's two strikers, were a handful for their markers all afternoon.

Earlier in the season, Down played their opponents off the park in a league game in Belfast, but ended up on the losing side. They were determined that would not happen last weekend.

Gibson and Elliott were involved in some intricate build-up play, while at the heart of the Down defence, Trevor McClurg, Alasdair Duff and James Erskine never put a foot wrong.

Down opened the scoring in the 20th minute after a period of incessant pressure when the Instonians' 'keeper made two reaction saves to deny Ashley Gibson. But the striker was not to be denied following a short corner routine.

Brother Colin's push out found Lennon who squared the ball for Ashley to lash it into the bottom corner of the net.

At the other end, Down's 'keeper, Mark Johnston, had a quiet afternoon, only touching the ball once during the entire 70 minutes.

Neill went close with a fierce drive in the first half and Down's skipper saw a short corner strike which had "goal" written all over it cleared off the line by an alert defender.

Although Down went into the interval with just a one-goal advantage, they were very much in the driving seat. But within minutes of the restart, Down were 2-0 ahead when Elliott scored following a short corner.

Gibson scored his second of the afternoon with another clinical strike from a short corner and Elliott, who is chasing his strike partner in the goalscoring charts, then made it 4-0 with a goal from open play.

Instonians scored a consolation goal in the last minute, but the points were already safe and the jungle telegraph was informing Kilkeel and Bangor that the league leaders had been soundly beaten.

Down are on a crest of a wave at the moment and are hoping that they can overcome Raphoe thirds in this weekend’s Ulster Junior Shield semi-final at Malone Park.