Quite a few times this season, both local teams in Senior One have been on the end of hammerings, but felt they played well.

That was the case in point for Down last Saturday who, despite conceding eight goals in a game, dominated parts of it at certain times and caused the home side all sorts of problems.

Down were also very impressed with the performance of the umpires whom they praised for attempting to allow the game to flow whenever possible, particularly during the opening minutes when neutrals would have been forgiven for thinking the Belfast side was the one struggling at the foot of the table.

The visitors started brilliantly and almost took a shock lead in the third minute when Sinclair White drilled a short corner strike goalwards, with the ball flying a fraction wide of the post, with the Harlequins defenders heaving a huge sigh of relief.

Paul Tate and Adam McKee were outstanding for the visitors, with the latter covering inch of the pitch and surely one person in the running for the club's senior player of the year award, given his performances this season.

Tate almost opened the scoring after Sinclair's shot flashed wide while Mark Elliott, who was also impressive with his build-up play, holding the ball and bringing others around him into play, also went close.

Down, who have had their fair share of drubbings this season, went into the game with a simple attitude; they were going to attack and the move nearly paid off in this vital opening stages. If they had scored, who knows what would have happened.

Despite the scare, Harlequins came back into the game and literally in the blink of an eye they led 3-0, with all three goals coming courtesy of drag flicks from short corner set pieces by Douglas Anderson.

Incredibly, before half-time, the home side led 5-0, with their two further goals coming from a penalty stroke after a goal-bound shot had struck skipper, Jeremy McCready, on the leg, with the fifth goal coming from an uncharacteristic mistake from Stephen Ferguson. He lost his senses by passing the ball across his own penalty area and the ball was intercepted by Chris Murphy who rounded Mark Johnston to score.

Down came out at the start of the second half with the emphasis on going on the attack and they played brilliantly for a while. They slowed the game down and started finding each other with passes and Chris Taylor should have made it 5-1, but his effort was saved by the 'keeper.

And, in a carbon copy of the first half, after soaking up the pressure, Harlequins hit back with another three goals in quick succession.

Taylor then did get his name on the scoresheet after some terrific build-up play involving Tate before the home side made it 7-1.

Gavin Ringland thought he had made it 7-2, but his "goal" from a short corner was inexplicably ruled out by the umpire. Then, to compound his and his side's misery, Harlequins made it 8-1.

This weekend, it's another tough one for Down who face current Senior One league leaders Civil Service at Stormont.

It's a game which they are expected to lose heavily but, if they approach it with the same attacking intent and can score early, you never know. Each team always produces a shock result each season and the Malone Park side will be hoping it's them this Saturday.