Down’s senior side maintained its blistering start to the season with a 5-0 win over derby rivals Crossgar last weekend.

The Malone Park side has scored 32 goals, conceding just four, in the first six league games of the season and will be out to maintain that run against Omagh this weekend.

In a no-holds barred encounter, Crossgar were out to dent Down's superb start to the Senior Two campaign and frustrated the home side for the opening 20 minutes with a typically dogged display.

While Down went into the interval with just a one-goal advantage, as has so often been the case this season, they turned the wick up after the break, scoring another four goals. But the impressive 5-0 scoreline does not reflect the true nature of what was a hard-fought encounter.

Nigel Jackson was Crossgar's outstanding player on the day. He was immense for his side at the back, getting in a number of timely tackles and clearing his lines on countless occasions.

Down opted to go with just three at the back, with skipper, Jeremy McCready moving to right back in place of the missing Alasdair Duff. In the middle if the park, former Crossgar duo, Sinclair White and Paul Tate, who were both terrific on the day, were joined by Gavin Ringland.

Crossgar started with Julian Spratt up front alongside Gareth Lennon, with Spratt looking dangerous in the opening period.

Down's Chris Taylor, Ashley Gibson and Mark Elliott caused problems for the Crossgar defence early on, but Jackson, Gary Tate and Gary Donaldson dealt with all that was being thrown at them.

Crossgar 'keeper, Alastair Patterson was the busy of the two net minders early on and produced a superb save to deny White from a short corner. He then denied Chris Taylor with a great save at this near post.

At the other end, Crossgar's first short corner was not played to Jackson as expected, but Down's 'keeper was alert and produced a sliding kicked clearance to take the ball off Lennon's stick.

Down took the lead in the 20th minute from a short corner when Taylor, who is enjoying a real hot streak in front of goal this season, took aim before drilling the ball into the corner of the net. His side continued to press, but that man Jackson was getting in a number of timely tackles.

Spratt was dismissed 10 minutes before the interval when he sent off for a second bookable offence, but Crossgar regrouped and were proving a tough nut to crack.

After the interval, Down continued to press and their persistence was rewarded when Gibson nipped in ahead of Taylor and two Crossgar defenders to steer the ball past Patterson from point-blank range.

The goal should have been the launch pad at this stage for Down to up the tempo again, but Crossgar refused to throw in the towel and kept probing in the middle of the park, thanks to the introduction of Conor Ferguson.

A crucial turning point in the game came in the 40th minute when Crossgar were awarded a penalty stroke. The umpire ruled that Ringland was guilty of a stick tackle on Lennon, a decision which angered the Down players.

Jackson stepped forward for Crossgar with a real opportunity to get his side back into the sparkling derby tie, but his effort, which was destined for the top corner, was kept out by Down's 'keeper, diving to his right.

Within minutes, Crossgar found themselves three goals in arrears when Taylor got his second of the afternoon, nipping in on the blind side to hammer the ball home.

Tate, who was keen to score against his former club, got the goal he wanted in the 60th minute, with the move started by the again outstanding Aaron Minnis.

He stopped a goal-bound short corner strike from Jackson and powerfully flicked the ball forward for Taylor to rifle a shot which Patterson brilliantly saved. Sadly for him, the rebound fell to Tate who scooped it into the net.

Down still weren't finished and with six minutes remaining, Tate scored his second of the game to maintain his side's average of five goals a game this season.

Crossgar made it difficult for Down, particularly in the opening 20 minutes, but the loss of Spratt made it extremely difficult for them to maintain their high tempo and possession game in the second period.