Down seconds powered their way into the quarter-finals of the Ulster Junior Shield with a highly impressive performance against Antrim thirds.

Their opponents, who play in a league above Down, were literally blown away and could have finished on the end of a real hammering, given the home side's total domination and almost endless goalscoring opportunities.

Ashley Gibson weighed in with a four-goal haul, while Mark Elliott scored the other. In the first two rounds of the competition, Down have scored 12 goals and face either Raphoe thirds or the PSNI seconds at home in the quarter-final.

Down last won the competition in 2002 defeating Raphoe thirds in the final, so hopefully history will repeat itself if the sides meet in the next round.

The home side took the lead in the fourth minute with what quite simply was a scintillating goal. Alasdair Duff started the move which saw the ball quickly inter-changed between the highly impressive Paul Neill and Mark Elliott who picked out strike partner Gibson and the ball was hammered into the back of the net.

Elliott almost opened his account minutes later when he was picked out by a long, raking pass from Willie Price, but the Down striker's control evaded him as he was about to pull the trigger.

Down were awarded their first short corner of the cup tie in the seventh minute and promptly scored their second goal when Gibson's powerful shot struck the backboard with tremendous force.

The hardworking Duff almost got on the scoresheet two minutes later after being put through by Neill, while Elliott's shot from a long corner was blocked by a defender in the 14th minute. In the 33rd minute, Gibson completed his first-half hat-trick when he scored again from another short corner which the Antrim 'keeper perhaps should have saved.

Antrim did try and force their way back into the game, but rarely threatened. In fact, their only shot on goal came in the last minute of the game when they scored from a short corner.

Trevor McClurg, who never put a foot wrong alongside Price, made a great tackle to prevent an Antrim player lining up a shot against Mark Johnston five minutes before the interval.

Gibson almost made it 4-0 within seconds of the restart and then Neill was left holding his head in his hands after he missed a sitter at the back post. The impressive Gibson then set up a chance for Elliott but he was denied by a great defensive tackle.

But Elliott was not going to be denied and scored his side's fourth goal in the 50th minute after Duff won possession in the middle of the park, surged forward and squared the ball to Elliott who made no mistake.

It was all one-way traffic at this stage and Down created a host of chances which they would normally have put away with ease. A superb move almost led to Down's fifth goal.

Another powerful run by Duff saw him slip the ball to Elliott who flicked it to Gibson and his shot on the volley flew past the wrong side of the post.

Gibson and Elliott were on fire all afternoon and in the 53rd minute they combined with Neill to make it 5-0. Elliott sent Neill away on the right and his cross found Gibson who scored his fourth of the afternoon.