Down left The Demesne wondering how on earth they hadn't three points safely tucked under their arm.

Missed opportunities and another inspired performance by Saintfield 'keeper, Alastair Patterson, combined to thwart the visitors on a day where playing conditions were close to atrocious for both sides.

Last time out against Ballynahinch, the Saintfield ‘keeper was outstanding and his rich vein of form continued last Saturday against derby rivals Down with one particular save to deny Paul Tate the outstanding highlight of the day.

Down, for the first time this season, were at full strength but they failed to hit the high notes against a young Saintfield side which emerged with great credit after turning in another battling performance.

Saintfield took the lead with five minutes to go in the first half from a short corner when Frank Adrian scored past Down 'keeper Jeremy McCready who was unemployed for the entire second period.

Down's Mark Elliott and Tate missed a glut of chances with Patterson in top form all afternoon. The Saintfield player is one of the most consistent performers in Senior Two and one of the most reliable goalkeepers around.

As the light faded in the second period, Down continued to try and haul themselves back into the game and they certainly scored the goal-of-the-game through Sinclair White.

As good as Patterson was in the home goal, there was nothing he could do about the strike which eventually beat him. It came via a short corner, with White's powerful strike flying past the 'keeper and his fellow defenders at a ferocious pace.

It was a game which on paper Down should have won comfortably, but they couldn’t get over the line.

Once again, Saintfield's young players were superb and while they may be out-muscled by some teams, the tenacity and determination they displayed over the past two Saturdays will stand them in good stead over the remainder of the season.

Both Down and Saintfield won’t be back in action until the New Year and with the players looking forward to their Christmas break, they know that 2014 will only be a matter of weeks old before the Senior Two league season is due to end.