As derby ties go, this wasn't a classic.

There was the odd skirmish here and there but it was Down who created the majority of the chances. But they lacked the killer instinct in front of goal.

In the closing stages of the game Saint's 'keeper Alastair Patterson earned his side a draw with a diving stick save at his near post to keep out a goal-bound effort from Philip Brown.

The visitors, who lost to their hosts at home earlier in the season, started the brighter and created three chances in the opening five minutes.

Adam McKee, who was a constant threat in the middle of the park, drove into the Saintfield half slipping the ball to Paul Tate but his pass wasn't controlled by Mark Elliott and the chance was gone.

James Erskine then put Tate through but the Down forward was robbed off possession by Adam Thompson. Tate was in the thick of the action at this stage and almost gave his side the lead in the fourth minute, but his flicked effort whizzed past the wrong side of the post.

Saintfield were on the back foot and when McKee looked as though he was about to burst into the home penalty area Conor Ferguson swooped to win back possession. Seconds later McKee fed Down skipper Jeremy McCready but his path to goal was blocked by the experienced Davy Hobbs.

Nigel Jackson was the rock at the heart of the Saintfield defence and never missed a ball afternoon, a feat repeated by Down sweeper Willie Price who never put a foot wrong.

Saintfield's Aaron Kearney stopped a mazy run by Tate in the 19th minute before Ferguson robbed Erskine of possession as he moved out of defence to set up a Down attack.

A swift move involving Lawrence Murphy, Ferguson and Stephen Tate set up Mervyn Patterson but the Saintfield man lost control at the vital moment after 13 minutes.

Down were awarded their first short corner in the 17th minute after Kearney was penalised but McKee's push out struck Tate on the foot. A minute later Elliott whipped a powerful cross into the penalty area but Tate couldn't get his stick to the ball.

Saintfield scored against the run of play a minute later after Ferris conceded a free after unintentionally standing on the ball just outside his own penalty area. Seconds later Conor Ferguson drilled the ball past an unsighted Carl Mullan.

Down were rocked but the home side hadn't time to settle after scoring when the visitors were back on level terms. Elliott took the ball to the left hand side of the penalty area and drilled a cross which Tate deflected past Patterson from point-blank range. Game on.

Johnston and and Chris Ferguson were then both yellow carded before Erskine denied Kirkpatrick a goalscoring opportunity. At the other end, Jackson cleared as Tate was about to unleash a shot and then Kirkpatrick fired wide with just Mullan to beat.

Kearney cleared from Tate with just three minutes of the half remaining and Down were awarded their second short corner of the game a minute later but nothing came of it.

McKee then struck the post with the goal at his mercy after being set up by Stephen Ferguson and Mullan spread himself to deny Johnston who really should have scored after Erskine inexplicably gave the ball away.

The second half, which saw a heavy downpour, was devoid of any real action aside from Lawrence Murphy being given a harsh yellow card. Elliott should have put his side 2-1 ahead in the 42nd minute while Kirkpatrick was guilty of another miss at the other end a minute later.

Duff then scooped the ball over Patterson who was lying on the ground but he got too much purchase on the ball and it drifted over the bar.

Brown had a "goal" disallowed with 10 minutes to go before Kirkpatrick was denied by Mullan with two minutes to go and then Patterson denied Brown. McKee had an open goal in front of him with just a minute to go but missed the target.