Both sides created many chances during this Senior Two clash at Malone Park, but it was Down's greater superiority in front of goal that proved decisive in the end.

The victory was hard fought thanks to goals from Mark Elliott and Chris Taylor, but the gloss was taken off the win following a nasty facial injury to Down's Gavin Ringland which required hospital treatment.

All the goals came in the second period, but there were many chances for the home side in particular during the opening 35 minutes with Omagh 'keeper Adam Hamilton keeping his side in the game with a string of fine saves.

Down started with skipper Jeremy McCready in goal, but Paul Tate was still absent as he recovers from an ankle injury. Tate is making progress but could well miss the rest of the hockey season as he prepares to swap his shin pads and stick for cricket whites at the end of next month.

Sinclair White was the driving force in the middle of the park for Down alongside the hardworking Adam McKee and Chris Taylor was again impressive and is surely in with a shout for the senior player of the year award.

Ringland was injured in the third minute when a high ball driven into the Down penalty area was controlled by the defender on the reverse. But the ball crashed off his stick into his face, striking Ringland just below the right eye which required him to leave the field and head to hospital for treatment.

James Erskine needlessly gave away a short corner in the sixth minute, but Omagh failed to make the most of it as White cleared the danger. Gary Brown then produced a superb tackle to break up an Omagh attack down the left flank, before David Ferris and Clifford Lennon combined to thwart the visitors.

Omagh were awarded their second short corner of the game in the 10th minute, but the onrushing White again cleared the danger. Gary Brown and White then combined but the former's driven cross into the penalty area couldn't find Mark Graham or Philip Brown.

Down were awarded their first short corner in the 15th minute and while Philip Brown 'scored,' the umpire ruled out the 'goal' as Brown lifted his stick above his shoulder.

White picked out Elliott in the 19th minute but the striker lost control at the vital moment and then the Down man's stab effort after terrific work by White and Taylor was saved by Hamilton. McKee should have put his side ahead a minute later but he missed a sitter and the Hamilton then denied White.

At the other end, Graham Murray had a golden opportunity to put the visitors ahead but with just McCready to beat he fired his shot past the wrong side of the post.

McKee drilled wide 10 minutes from the interval and then a reverse effort from White after a terrific McKee run was saved before Taylor went close with a half chance.

The second half was a mirror image of the first with chances at either end but it was Elliott who fired Down ahead in the 53rd minute. It was a lead the locals held until Murray made it 1-1, but within a minute of drawing level Omagh were behind again.

Taylor's initial shot after great build-up play involving White and Elliott was saved, but when the rebound came back to Taylor off Hamilton, the Down man kept his head to lob the ball over the 'keeper into an empty net.