Down seconds were keen to record a home win over an experienced Instonians side at Malone Park last weekend but it wasn’t to be.

Trevor Lennon's side, which again featured a number of young players, also handed a debut to former Crossgar player Philip Cheevers who had a superb game at the heart of the home defence.

His positional play was excellent all afternoon and his hit outs and defensive clearances ensured Instonians did not have that many clear-cut chances.

Down are keen to make sure their young players get as much action as possible and they again stood up to be counted last weekend, alongside the experienced Cecil Telford who was a constant thorn in the visiting defence.

He created numerous problems in the opening 10 minutes and almost gave his side the lead in the sixth minute. Mark Graham also went close with a half-chance after being set up by Matthew Lennon, while Andy Teggart's control let him down on the edge of the penalty area after losing his marker.

At the other end, Cheevers was a calming influence on those around him and picked out his team mates with raking passes on a regular basis. Instonians, who arrived with a very experienced side, had no fear on the shale surface and took the lead midway through the half when Moreland was left with no defensive cover.

Down were keen to get back on level terms at the start of the second period and Paul Tate almost did just that during a goalmouth scramble, but it was the visitors who scored soonafter to double their advantage.

Clifford Lennon produced a great defensive tackle but the ball broke to an unmarked Instonians forward who gave Moreland in the home goal no chance.

Down continued to press and pulled a goal back midway through the half. TaylorÕs mazy run saw the ball worked to Philip Brown whose first time shot was whistling into the top corner of the net before it was stopped by a defender's stick. The visiting umpire awarded a penalty stroke which Taylor then converted.

The home side pushed for an equaliser in the closing stages, but the visitors held on and Down will be hoping to take points off Raphoe fourths at Malone Park this weekend.