Down seconds are looking forward to Christmas.

That's because with 19 points already in the bag they are assured of not getting dragged into a relegation dog fight later in the season.

This weekend its Cookstown fifths away and Willie Price's side would be happy with a point at Coolnafranky. Anything more would be a terrific bonus.

Last Saturday, in difficult, underfoot conditions at Malone Park, Price inspired his side to another terrific win and while Down scored four goals, they could easily have hit double figures.

Two goals in each half killed off a Portrush side which didn't manage a single shot on goal over the 70 minutes which Down completely dominated.

Stephen Fitzsimons, who has been one of the seconds' outstanding players this season, opened the scoring after it seemed his side would struggle to open its account.

Philip Brown wasted a good opportunity early on, while James Cunningham also went close with a terrific effort. The 'keeper also denied Stephen Moffatt a chance while Raymond McClurg also went close.

Fitzsimons' opener came midway through the half when in a goalmouth scramble, he kept his nerve to lift the ball over the 'keeper into the net.

Ten minutes later, Down led 2-0 with a powerful short corner strike courtesy of their skipper. Price move upfield for the set-piece and after controlling Fitzsimons' push out, he drove an unstoppable shot into the roof of the net.

At the other end, Trevor McClurg had a quiet afternoon, while Chris Ferguson and Johnny Lennon used every opportunity to drive forward as they made the most of the one-man advantage against 10-man Portrush.

The second half was a carbon copy of the first, with the home side dominating proceedings from start to finish, with the defence able to relax and marvel at the play developing ahead of them.

Brown made up for his earlier miss with a stunning goal to fire his side into a 3-0 lead.

Ferguson, Cunningham and Raymond McClurg were all involved in the build-up which led to Brown's blockbuster. His team mates set up a chance which saw Brown unleash a first time shot which flew past the 'keeper before he had time to move.

That was good, but there was even more to come from the home side. Price picked out Cunningham with a raking pass which he collected, skipped past three defenders before powering his way into the penalty area where he produced a blistering shot which gave the 'keeper no chance.

Down continued to pressurise the visitors and created a host of other chances which they failed to convert as a result of some hasty shooting.