Down did enough in this Senior Two game to take something from it, but the home side's inability to convert chances and some poor defending contributed to their downfall.

The game was played in atrocious weather conditions with Down missing Gavin Ringland and Sinclair White in the middle of the park and their presence may well have made all the difference against a Portrush side which dominated the midfield sector for long periods of the game.

Portrush carved out their first scoring opportunity in the seventh minute, but a forward's shot when well placed was fired wide of Jeremy McCready in the home goal.

At the other end, the hard-working Paul Tate who ran his socks off in the middle of the park, went on a strong run but Mark Elliott couldn’t get on the end of the former's cross into the penalty area where he had the goal at his mercy.

McCready denied John Dillon from Portrush's first short corner of the game before Tate thought he had given the home side the lead after 12 minutes. He produced a brilliant shot which Portrush ‘keeper Gordon McAllister deflected onto the post, with the ball rebounding to safety.

Liam Kearney then produced a smart tackle to deny Andrew Christie a scoring opportunity as the Portrush pressure started to build.

Elliott should have given his side the lead in the 13th minute but his control let him down at the vital moment. Graham then went close for Down before Portrush took the lead in the 18th minute through Dillon who was the tormentor in chief all afternoon.

His opener came from a long ball drilled into the heart of the Down penalty area, producing a smart finish on the reverse with McCready left exposed. Five minutes later Portrush led 2-0 following a short corner, with Neil McMaster driving an unstoppable shot into the net.

Alasdair Duff robbed Dillon of possession as he threatened to score before Christie fired wide with the goal at this mercy. With five minutes of the half remaining, Elliott looked as though he was going to make it 2-1 from a short corner, but his excellent shot was saved by McAllister.

The rebound fell to Graham who drove it goalwards, only for the Portrush ‘keeper to kick clear. In the final action of the half, Tate set up Elliott with the Down striker again denied by McAllister.

Down reduced the arrears within three minutes of the restart when Tate scored with a brilliant reverse stick shot which flew into the back of the net off a post with McAllister beaten all ends up. The visitors moved up a gear and Down were forced on to the back foot for a time, with Brent Smith going close to giving Portrush a 3-1 lead, but he screwed his shot wide.

McAllister then cleared from Elliott before McCready and James Erskine were forced to clear their lines as the home side was pegged in its own half for a time. Aaron Kerr looked as though he was about to make it 3-1 but his powerful shot was palmed away by McCready before Ryan Swail denied Callum McKeemin a goalscoring chance.

Dillon then drove the ball into the penalty area which was deflected goalwards by Kee, but McCready saved before Chris Taylor missed a sitter at the other end after a great pass from Kearney.

Portush did make it 3-1 in the 58th minute when Andrew Christie was given too much time to pick his spot and score. The schoolboy produced a smart finish after some schoolboy defending.

Dillon then rattled McCready’s pads with the ball rebounding to Brent Smith who made it 4-1 with just five minutes to go. But Taylor scored a cracking goal to make it 4-2 after a penetrating run into the Portrush penalty area from deep in his own half.

The home side bombed men forward and McAllister produced a double save to deny Duff and Elliott as Down looked to salvage something from the game. But it was too little, too late.