Down collected their fourth point of what's been a tough baptism in Senior One last Friday night.

The locals shared the spoils with South Antrim at the Ards Leisure Centre on Friday night during a game of two halves.

The home side were in control for the opening 35 minutes, but were forced to defend in numbers in the second as the visitors came back strongly.

Both teams don't want to get sucked into the relegation dog fight this early in the season and realise putting points on the board is vital, particularly as they both have a number of hard games coming up.

Down are away to Antrim this weekend before the first big derby in Senior One takes place at the end of the month when they face neighbours Ballynahinch.

Last Friday night, Down showed they are much better than their performance against Queen's previous week suggested when they lost 9-0. If nothing else, the players are realists and know they have to take points off teams in the bottom half of the league if they are to have a realistic chance of staying up.

Games are tough an uncompromising at times, but no one at Down wants to go drop into Senior Two where real competition is only provided by two or three sides.

Last Friday night, Down skipper, Jeremy McCready, enjoyed one of his best games for the club since their return to Senior One and had an outstanding second half, keeping the South Antrim forwards at bay.

Down took the lead in the 11th minute through the hard-working Sinclair White who drilled the ball home after good work by Paul Tate and Stephen Ferguson.

Ferguson then should have put Down 2-0 ahead minutes later, but with time to pick his spot, he panicked, fluffed his shot and the ball ran harmlessly wide.

Down 'keeper, Mark Johnston, then produced a blinding save to deny Alan Hamilton and while the Lisburn side forced a number of penalty corners they couldn't convert them into goals. Mark Elliott had a great game leading the line for the locals and held the ball up well, bringing others around him into play.

South Antrim drew level within 10 minutes of the restart after scoring from what Down players argued was a harshly awarded short corner. The goal was scored by Hamilton.

The goal gave South Antrim a real boost and they looked sharper in the second period, with Down forced to defend in numbers. The home side created a few half chances and given the pressure they came under, they settled for a point in the end.

This Saturday they face Antrim away and while it's a tough prospect, Down know that they can play at this level and give a good account of themselves.