Down are hoping for a miracle to avoid the drop from Senior One.

Despite taking the lead against their relegation rivals, the locals produced an embarrassing display in the second period of this crucial league game, conceding six goals.

Down now must take something against Armagh over the next two weekends and all the players need to be fully committed to the cause. There is no room for complacency and players need to put the team first and pull for one another.

Chris Lennon won a free in the second minute on the edge of the Newry penalty area which resulted in Alasdair Duff picking out Mark Elliott who made no mistake from close in to open the scoring last Saturday.

The goal should have provided the platform for a big performance and a much-needed three points, but it didn't.

Adam McKee nearly made it 2-0 in the fifth minute before Duff brilliantly deflected a short corner shot, which had "goal" written all over it, around the post. Elliott was then set up by Chris Taylor but the forward's shot was deflected wide.

Stand-in 'keeper Robert Hagan produced a smart corner save in the ninth minute but there were no defenders sweeping the pads and Mark Adamson nipped in to grab the equaliser.

Hagan then denied Downey in the 17th minute, but Richard Kerrigan scored the first of his incredible six goals on the day to make it 2-1.

At the other end, Stephen Ferguson picked out Elliott whose shot was again deflected wide and four minutes before the break the Queen's 'keeper denied Sinclair White three times in quick succession.

Queen's came out for the second half but Down didn't. The players who lined out for the second 35 minutes lacked passion, drive and commitment at times.

The home side scored six more goals, but despite their inadequate second half performance, the visitors didn't deserve to lose 8-1.

Kerrigan made it 3-1 in the 37th minute before Paul Tate missed an opportunity at the other end. That man Kerrigan made it 4-1 after 54 minutes and 5-1 after 62. Down's world was collapsing around them.

Neil Matthews made it 6-1in the 65th minute before Kerrigan completed his six-goal rout in the 69th and 71st minutes respectively.

Down need the commitment of all their players over the coming weeks. A team wins and loses together, but Down need to be at full strength if they are to take something from back-to-back games against Armagh.

Players need to start putting the club first and give their all to avoid the drop to Senior Two.