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

Down maintained top spot with a comfortable 3-0 win at Portrush last weekend and if they can overcome Omagh at home this Saturday, a double-header against South Antrim will decide who is promoted.

The trip to Ballymoney is always difficult and on a freezing cold day, both sides struggled for some rhythm early on. Down, who were missing Gavin Ringland and Mark Elliott, never looked in any danger and should have finished the game with at least six or seven goals to their credit.

Down took the lead in the 13th minute through Paul Tate who finished the game playing at centre-back as a result of an injury to Aaron Minnis.

Tate fired the ball home for his side's opener after James Erskine, who had an outstanding match, and Paul Neill, combined to carve out a chance for Tate who finished in style.

The Down defence of Erskine, skipper Jeremy McCready, Minnis  and Alasdair Duff was rarely troubled, but Down's captain did stop a goal-bound shot on the line from a short corner before clearing the ball out of the danger area.

Portrush relied on skipper Andy Dalzell and Wallace McKeemin, who was later joined by older brother Mervyn, to inject some life into their team, but they were always up against it.

Down went 2-0 ahead in the 20th minute with the impressive Neill, who has forced his way back into the side, set up a chance for Chris Taylor. Sinclair White's raking pass picked out Neill and when he found Taylor inside the penalty area there was only going to be one outcome.

Down were well worth their interval lead and they went 3-0 ahead early in the second half when Ashley Gibson scored. He was in the right place at the right time to push the ball over the line after Tate's ferocious shot crashed against the base of the post.

At the other end, Dalzell's drag flick from a short corner was deflected over the bar by Down's ‘keeper before skipper McCready cleared another shot off the line.

At the other end, Stephen Ferguson saw a blockbusting shot palmed onto the crossbar by the ‘keeper and then White's drive from just inside the penalty area crashed against the stick of Dalzell on his own goal line, before rebounding to safety.