This Ulster Junior Shield tie had everything.

Nine goals, extra time, some superb play by the visitors and never-say-die attitude which almost forced the tie to be decided by penalty strokes.

Down, who were playing a side which plays its hockey in a higher division, gave their opponents a real fright. They refused to throw in the towel in a game neither side deserved to lose.

Colin Gibson was a rock in the heart of the Down midfield, while Raymond McClurg, who played at sweeper in the absence of Willie Price, was also outstanding.

Down had heroes all over the park and the Civil Service winner, which came just two minutes before the end of the second period of extra time, was a real killer blow. It was rough justice on the visitors who ran their socks off and who gave the Junior 3 side a lot to think about.

Civil Service opened the scoring in the seventh minute after Down failed to clear their lines. The ball broke to an unmarked forward whose shot went into the net off the helmet of Down's advancing 'keeper.

If the home side thought it was going to be easy after that, they were very much mistaken and before they had finished celebrating, the inspirational James Cunningham levelled the tie.

A long corner drilled into the penalty area picked out JC at the back post and he made no mistake from close in, flicking the ball into the net.

Down then lost Paul Neill for a few minutes after a ball rose up from a tackle he made, hitting him on the forehead, leaving a nasty gash.

As he was getting treatment, the home side exploited his absence in the middle of the park and mounted a raid down the right wing. A forward's shot was saved by Down's 'keeper, but the rebound fell to another forward who scored.

But back came Down and Mark Elliott, who played a link role between the midfield and forward line, calmly flicked the ball into the net after a great move involving Gibson, Clifford Lennon and Cunningham.

With the scores tied at 2-2 at the interval, Down were keen to get a grip of the game in the second period, but it was the home side who made it 3-2 when Gary Posnett wasn't picked up and scored.

But back came Down. Johnny Lennon's short corner strike stuck the base of the post and rebounded to safety but, from a similar set-piece minutes later, he rifled the ball home past the 'keeper.

The visitors were in the ascendancy at this stage and Elliott silenced the home supporters when he made it 3-3 with just seconds of normal time to go.

In the first period of extra time, Down went ahead for the first time in the game when Elliott scored his second of the afternoon. The visitors had the smell of victory in their nostrils but Civil Service made it 4-4 with the last shot of the game before the end of the first period of extra time.

In the second, both sides went close, but it was the home side which scored again to make it 5-4 just when it looked as though the tie was heading for penalty strokes.