A nine-goal thriller ended home games for Down at Malone Park last weekend.

In what has been a stop-start season for the locals which has been badly affected by the worst player crisis in the club's history, Down signed off with a much-needed three points.

Once again the locals were not at full strength but they still had enough in the tank to see off a spirited Portrush side.

Down also scored three goals after going to down to 10 men after their skipper Jeremy McCready had been red-carded.

Mark Elliott gave Down the lead in the eighth minute before Portrush hit back to make it 1-1. Back came the home side and Alasdair Duff scored to put the Malone Park outfit in the driving seat again before Portrush retaliated to make it 2-2.

Following McCready's dismissal Down went on the rampage with goals from Elliott again, Gavin Ringland and Chris Lennon to lead 5-2.

It looked game over but Portrush made it 5-3 after home 'keeper Carl Mullan produced a brilliant save, only for Brian Hagan to inadvertently kick the ball into his own net.

Back came Portrush again but 10-man Down held out to collect what has been a rare three points over the course of the season.