Down seconds came out on top in a five-goal thriller at the High School ground last weekend.

Chris Lennon bagged a double and Ashley Gibson also weighed in with a goal as the locals were made to fight every inch of the way against a particularly dogged and determined Portrush side.

Another plus for Down was the performance of new striker, Mark Elliott. He showed some clever touches and will no doubt be knocking on the door of the first team.

With the Caravan Club in residence at Malone Park, the game was switched to Down High's ground, which like many shake pitches across the district, was a little bumpy as a result of the recent fine weather.

But the pitch was the same for both teams, with Down adapting to the surface more quickly than their opponents who are more used to the synthetic surface. The home side took the lead in the 10th minute against a useful Portrush side who fielded a number of their regular first eleven players.

The goal was fashioned along the left flank and when the ball was passed to Chris Lennon he cleverly used his stick to deflect the cross into the net past the 'keeper who was caught completely unawares.

Down should have gone on to increase their lead at this stage, but failed attempts by skipper, Johnny Lennon and Alasdair Duff, allowed a Portrush player to rocket the ball past Mark Johnston for an unlikely equaliser.

The equaliser saw the home players up the tempo and Ashley Gibson put his side 2-1 ahead following a goalmouth scramble. The striker used his predatory instincts to hunt down the ball and flick it past the 'keeper.

With the half-time whistle fast approaching, Down were keen to maintain their one-goal advantage, but they did even better, by scoring a third goal.

It came from that man Chris Lennon who had a great game and who was again in the right place at the right time to steer the ball into the net. Portrush came back into the game after the interval and Down's players had to be at their best, with Colin Gibson outstanding in the middle of the park for the home side. He turned in his usual no-nonsense performance and led by example when the going got tough. Clifford Lennon also stood up to be counted and played his best game of the season.

Elliott, who picked up a foot injury following a clash with the goalkeeper, played exceptionally well and his arrival at the club has provided another boost.

With 10 minutes to go, Portrush made it 3-2 with a controversial goal which the Down players were furious about it. A long corner drilled in to the penalty area clearly struck a Portrush player on the foot before it fell to a team mate who pushed it over the line.

With the home side waiting for the umpire to signal a free out, he inexplicably pointed to the centre circle having awarded the goal. He waved away Down protests, but the locals managed to regain their composure and hold on for their second win of the season in Junior 4.