The race for the Senior Two title race is going all the way to the wire.

Current league leaders Down crashed to an unexpected 5-1 defeat at the hands of their nearest rivals last weekend when they produced one of their worst performances of the season.

Down have just one remaining league game and that's against South Antrim at home. A win would secure the title, while a draw would see the sides go head-to-head in a play-off.

The Lisburn side still have to play Omagh, Parkview and Larne and it is hard to see them dropping points before they face Down in the showdown for the league title.

The Malone Park side started well last weekend, but two mistakes by the visitors' 'keeper provided the home side with a boost they could not have expected.

South Antrim took the lead with their first short corner of the game, but Down responded immediately to silence the vociferous home supporters. Ashley Gibson and Paul Tate carved a huge whole in the Lisburn side's defence which resulted in the latter firing home.

George Glass was denied at the other end, but South Antrim scored a soft second goal to take the lead for the second time in the game. Down were being pulled apart by a series of sweeping attacks and while some inconsistent umpiring raised their heckles, they have to realise that once the whistle blows, umpires rarely change their mind.

A decision to award the home side a penalty corner upset Down. Glass's shot struck Down skipper, Jeremy McCready, on the hand as he tried to clear the ball. Nine times out of 10 a short corner is awarded. In this case the umpire pointed to the spot. The Lisburn player missed his effort, with Down claiming justice had been done.

Sinclair White tested the 'keeper with a short corner shot, but that was only Down's other shot on goal in the entire game.

The second half is one Down will want to forget. At one stage the locals only had eight men on the pitch after the umpires issued a rash of yellow cards and one red one.

South Antrim went 3-1 ahead with a controversial short corner. Aaron Minnis clearly won the ball, but as he followed through, his stick was chopped by that of a home player. Incredibly the umpire awarded the short and, as so often happens, South Antrim scored.

Down heads dropped at this stage and it was all one-way traffic. Ashley Gibson and Mark Elliott were forced to drop deeper and deeper in a bid to secure possession, but South Antrim were on top given Down's numerical disadvantage.

White was then red-carded and a trio of Down players were shown yellows as their discipline went out the window in such a crucial league tie.

South Antrim scored two more before the end of normal time and the best Down can do is forget about this game and wipe the slate clean because they have an opportunity to put things right this weekend.

The locals face South Antrim in the semi-finals of the Senior Two Cup and will want to produce a much better performance. One boost ahead of that game is that both Chris Taylor and Paul Neill will be available.

Ahead of the game, there are two incentives for Down. Avenging last week's defeat is a priority. In addition, a win could set up a possible final against derby rivals Saintfield.