Down thirds are just 70 minutes away from a place in this year's Strabane Cup final.

If the Malone Park side can overcome Mossley fifths at home in the semi-finals, they will face Lisnagarvey sevenths in a cup final showdown.

Trevor Lennon's side battled back from conceding an early goal to book their place in the semi-final and the most pleasing aspect of the weekend win was the performance of the club's rising stars.

Richard Tarbotton and Gavin Laverty were outstanding with the latter denied a deserved goal in the closing stages when his clever slap-hit shot was saved by the 'keeper.

The smattering of youngsters, marshalled superbly by David Gibson, battled for every ball and deserved to go through to the latter stages of a competition the club last won nearly a decade ago.

Civil Service opened the scoring in the third minute when slack marking allowed a player to nip in at the back post to score what was a scrappy goal past Stuart Clydesdale. That was the only action the young 'keeper saw as he did not have to make a save for the rest of the game. And his side will be hoping he will have a similar game in the semi-final.

Down's young guns were men on a mission and within two minutes of going behind, they hauled themselves back on level terms when Gibson scored with a clinical shot corner strike.

Tarbotton produced a great defensive tackle in the 14th minute and then Clifford Lennon and the impressive James Cunningham, who ran his socks off, created a chance for Stephen Moffatt.

Cunningham, whose powerful running and tenacious tackling were a feature of the day, was unlucky not to give his side the lead in the 20th minute. He was denied by the Ôkeeper who also denied Philip Brown in the 35th minute.

Stephen Strain almost gave Down the lead at the start of the second half but was again denied by the visitors' 'keeper who had an inspired afternoon. Strain went close a second time before the home side took the lead with just 12 minutes to go.

Fittingly, Cunningham was at the heart of the move which led to the winner. He again surged forward from the middle of the park and slipped the ball to Moffatt who scored what will probably one of the most important goals of his career.

The 'keeper then produced a great save to deny Cunningham in the 65th minute and Laverty looked as though he would then score before being denied by the netminder who also prevented Brown form scoring what would have been a deserved third for his side.