Four points from two games.

That's the simple maths that will take Down into Senior One next season.

The Malone Park side reserved one of their best performances of the year against fellow title-chasers Armagh last weekend and their destiny is now in their own hands.

A win and a draw in their final two games against Portrush and Parkview respectively will take Jeremy McCready's side into Senior One, exactly a year after they lost to South Antrim in a promotion play-off.

While no one at the club is counting their chickens, there is the realisation that Down are on the brink of making it back to where they feel they belong.

With no disrespect to the other sides in Senior Two, Down have proved over the past two seasons that they are much better and need to be tested at a significantly higher level.

Last Saturday was billed as the game of the season with the locals going into the game without having had a competitive match since they lost at home to Armagh on March 3.

Saintfield, Larne and Campbellians all failed to weigh in for their respective league clashes at Malone Park and Down were certainly up against it, not having played for almost a month.

But the character and resilience they displayed saw them grab the point they knew they needed. Defeat was not on the agenda last weekend and while the visitors trailed 3-2 in the closing minutes, their determination saw them grab a dramatic, but well deserved equaliser.

Down started on top and for the first 10 minutes had Armagh on the rack. It was also no surprise when the locals took the lead after a scintillating move down the left.

Chris Lennon started the move which led to the opener and he in turn fed Chris Taylor whose clever pass to Elliott saw the former Armagh man produce a magnificent slap hit which saw the ball strike the foot of a defender as it looked destined for the back of the net.

The umpire had no hesitation pointing to the penalty spot and Ashley Gibson, as he has done all season, kept his cool to send the 'keeper the wrong way and tuck the ball into the net.

It was all Down at this stage and the visitors were in dreamland when they went 2-0 ahead following a well-worked short corner routine. Taylor's shot looked to be going wide, but a perfectly executed square cut shot by Tate deflected the ball into the net.

Armagh were stunned and within a minute of Down taking the lead, the home side pulled a goal back following a quickly taken free on the edge of the penalty area. Down 'keeper, Mark Johnston, had to be on his toes on a few occasions from short corners and while Armagh pressed for an equaliser, they went into the break still a goal in arrears.

The home side upped the tempo at the start of the second period and were soon back on level terms and the pendulum appeared to swing in their favour.

Down's skipper had a fantastic game and cleared four goal-bound shots off the line in the second period, as he led by example, inspiring those around them to lift their game when the going got tough.

Armagh scored from a short corner to make it 3-2 when a drag flick effort ended up in the roof of the net. McCready then took the first of those clearances off the line as Down tried to get back on level terms.

With the spectre of a possible promotion play-off looming if they allowed the home side to bag all three points, the visitors raised their game and it was that former Armagh man Elliott who played a key role in denting his former club's promotion hopes.

He intercepted a pass from Reddick and set up Taylor who made his way towards goals as he was approached by a defender, he slipped the ball to the highly impressive Gavin Ringland who drilled it into the net.

But there was more drama to come when McCready produced an unbelievable goal-line clearance to ensure his side got the point they wanted badly.

Howard Quinn, who was a threat all afternoon, beat Johnston but McCready produced that stunning save, diving full length across the goal to beat the ball away with his stick.

At the final whistle, the Down players celebrated for they knew exactly what they now have to do to win the title outright. The players were heroes to a man, but the most outstanding individual was Alasdair Duff who was unanimously voted man-of-the-match.