If this had been a game of Monopoly, Down got their get out of jail card in the closing stages of a game where they never hit top form.

The Malone Park side did create a host of chances, but some poor finishing and outstanding goalkeeping denied them the chance to record what on paper should have been a comfortable win.

The two points takes Down's total for the season to six and if they had been able to travel to Cookstown with a full side on the opening day of the league campaign, their points tally would probably be even more impressive.

Last Saturday's five-goal thriller was an incident-packed affair, but the gloss was taken off the home side's win when James Cunningham had to be taken to hospital after sustaining a nasty facial injury which required six stitches.

The story of the game was simple. Down dominated the opening 35 minutes, their 'keeper let in a howler in the second half and in the end, a dramatic winner came with just minutes remaining.

The shale pitch was particularly bumpy and both sides struggled. Antrim gave a performance which belied their lowly league position and perhaps Down thought the game would have been a lot easier than it proved to be. Antrim's players adapted to the surface and they bossed the game for long periods in the middle of the park where Down missed the combative talents of Raymond McClurg.

It was a game tailor-made for his harrying style and had he been there on Saturday, Antrim would not have got the grip on the game they did at the start of the second period.

That said, Down created a host of chances in the opening period. Philip Brown went close early on as did Stephen Ferguson and it seemed that once the home scored the opener, the goals would flow. But they didn't.
 Sinclair White went close while a Brown short corner strike was well saved by the 'keeper. Richard Tarbotton drilled a shot wide of the post, while at the other end, Antrim were struggling to get a shot in on goal. Down took the lead 10 minutes before the break. Brown's snapshot was blocked by the 'keeper, but the ball broke to Tarbotton who swept it into the net. The home side should have shut up shop until the break, but they didn't.

Antrim were awarded a free hit and some Down players turned their backs instead of facing the ball which was drilled into the penalty area where a forward deflected it past the 'keeper. It was the visitors first shot on goal.

In the second period, Down's play was sloppy and disjointed at times and they lost control of the midfield. Things went from bad to worse when the home 'keeper was guilty of a howler, allowing an innocuous shot to go into the net.

Ironically, the setback spurred his team mates into action and they were back on level terms midway through the half when they were awarded a penalty stroke.

Brown looked as though he was going to level the scores, but his shot struck a defender on the line and a penalty stroke was awarded. Up stepped Ferguson who made it 2-2.

Antrim still pressed, but it was Down who were in the driving seat. The visitors' keeper produced three stunning saves in quick succession to deny Brown, White and Ferguson. Then came that injury to Cunningham and with the game looking as though it was heading for a draw, the home side scored a dramatic winner.

Brown controlled a ball driven into the penalty area and squared it to Ferguson whose shot whistled past the 'keeper. At the other end, Antrim managed one more shot which was saved.

At the final whistle, Down were more relieved than delighted with the win and will be hoping for an improved performance against the PSNI this Saturday.