Down seconds blasted out a title warning to their Junior 4 rivals at Malone Park last weekend with a 6-0 demolition of Cookstown fifths.

Their sizzling performance saw James Cunningham and Ashley Gibson each grab two goals, with the home side's other strikes coming from Stephen Fitzsimons and Richard Tarbotton.

Down were in the driving seat for most of the game and were so much on top that their 'keeper had only one save to make over the 70 minutes.

The home side was keen to bounce back after an agonising defeat against Instonians two weeks ago and they signalled their early intentions with Colin Gibson in superb form in the middle of the park.

Asked to man-mark the Cookstown side's playmaker, Gibson turned the rolls with his marker spending the entire afternoon following him around.

Down took the lead in the ninth minute through Fitzsimons who was outstanding on the day; his work rate was superb and his intelligent passing helped create numerous chances for his side.

He fired past the 'keeper after great work by Colin Gibson and Cunningham, with the latter again in superb form. Not just content with setting up attacks, his tackling and never-say-die spirit clearly rubbed off onĀ  those around him.

It was very fitting therefore that it was Cunningham who scored his side's second goal of the day when, after being picked out inside the penalty area, he drilled the ball past the 'keeper. Also in the first half, Philip Brown came agonisingly close on several occasions, with one short corner strike certainly worthy of a goal.

In the second period, Down continued to dominate and Cunningham made it 3-1 after some terrific build-up play in the middle of the park. He ghosted past his marker to rifle the ball home, with Fitzsimons and Colin Gibson involved.

The loudest cheer of the day was reserved for Tarbotton who scored a sublime goal. He latched on to a ball whipped into the penalty area to cleverly deflect it into the roof of the net.

With a four goal lead, Down had the luxury of introducing Ashley Gibson who almost scored with his first touch of the game. A shot on the turn was then deflected wide by the 'keeper before Down's striker got the measure of him.

He calmly picked his spot inside the post to put his side 5-0 ahead, while his superb reverse-stick shot which made it 6-0 also put the icing on the cake.

Chris Lennon almost scored a spectacular goal in the closing stages, while brother Clifford, who was playing at full back, gave his marker no change and bombed forward at every opportunity.

With no game this weekend due to the Irish Junior Cup, the seconds will be hoping to continue their winning ways when they face Mossley fourths at Malone Park.