Down had to settle for a point in this Senior Two clash against Armagh at Malone Park last weekend.

It was the first game for the locals following their agonising defeat at the hands of Cliftonville the previous weekend in a Sussex Regiment Cup semi-final tie at Harlequins which had to be decided on penalty strokes.

Down were keen to make the most of home advantage and while they created enough clear-cut chances to win several games, they ended up having to settle for a point.

Indeed, had skipper Jeremy McCready not produced a few timely saves late on, Armagh could possibly have mounted the perfect smash and grab raid. The home side took the lead in the 17th minute with the architect of the goal the impressive Aaron Ferris who never stopped running all afternoon.

He collected the ball and powered his way along the right wing before producing a pinpoint cross which was hammered home by Paul Tate.

Down continued to dominate, but couldn't put away the host of chances they created with a number of players guilty of glaring misses.

Tate should have scored a second goal, while Chris Taylor should have had his name on the scoresheet. Jordan Wade also had a gilt-edged chance and the misses proved costly when Armagh scored a scrappy equaliser when a forward unmarked at the back post had the easy task of forcing the ball over the line.

With five minutes of the half remaining, the home side took a 2-1 lead. Liam Kearney won possession and hit the after burners as he flew past several Armagh defenders to produce an inch-perfect cross which was hammered home by Wade.

Down continued to create chances in the second period, but their attacking prowess was curtailed following a nasty ankle injury picked up Sinclair White.

With 15 minutes to go, Armagh made it 2-2 when an innocuous shot took a wicked deflection to fly past McCready who could do nothing.

At the other end, Gavin Ringland missed a chance while Taylor managed to scoop the ball over the bar on two occasions while virtually standing on the goal-line.

Armagh then produced that late flurry which McCready was fortunately able to deal with otherwise there would have been a lot of red faces on the Down players at the final whistle.