Down are heading for Senior Two after yet another heavy defeat.

Last Friday night's game against Queen's was one of a number they had singled out as potentially taking something from but it wasn't to be.

With five games to go and while Down could possibly take something from their clash against Portadown, it won't be anywhere near enough to save them.

While they have scored plenty of goals this season, the problem has again been at the back with many teams overpowering the locals in the closing stages of Senior One games.

As Down contemplate the drop to a league where the standard of hockey is steadily decreasing, they need to make sure they bounce straight back up again and maintain a place in Senior One.

Last Friday night Paul Tate almost gave the locals the lead in the third minute and five minutes later Mark Elliott's shot was cleared for a long corner after a great ball from David Ferris.

Queen's took the lead in the 14th minute from a short corner awarded after Stephen Ferguson needlessly hit the ball away. The moment of madness was penalised when David Graham scored.

Philip Brown and Gavin Ringland then combined on the right but the move came to nothing and then skipper, Jeremy McCready, who had a terrific game, cleared a goal-bound shot off the line. A feat he repeated several times over the 70 minutes.

Ten minutes before the interval Queen's made it 2-0 with a scrappy goal. Down 'keeper, Mark Johnston, produced a smart save but the ball rebounded to Graham who scored his second. Mark Adamson made it 3-0 in the 28th minute and things went from bad to worse three minutes later when the visitors took a 3-0 lead.

Philip Brown was harshly penalised for winning possession and from the resultant short corner Kerrigan's drag flick gave Johnston no chance. Kerrigan then saw a rasping shot in the final minute of the half taken off the line by McCready.

Queen's 'keeper, David Patterson, denied Tate within minutes of the restart before the visitors took a 5-0 lead from another short corner in the 47th minute.

McCready pulled a goal back in the 52nd minute and then the skipper fell over with an open goal at his mercy before Daniel Burke made it 6-1 with eight minutes to go. In the closing stages Kerrigan was denied by Johnston who produced a great save to keep a drag flick effort out of the net.