A depleted Down side almost secured a point against second-placed Antrim last weekend.

The locals were forced to travel with six second eleven players in the starting line-up and they played the shirts off their backs, making life particularly uncomfortable for Antrim.

And had Shaw McVeigh been able to get out of the way in the last minute when Sinclair White's short corner shot looked destined for the back of the net, Down would have secured a well deserved point.

There were heroes all over the park and skipper, Jeremy McCready, who took over in goal for the afternoon was in top form, producing a number of top drawer saves over the 70 minutes.

Down were outstanding and the dogged spirit they have displayed all season was clearly evident. And while they need a miracle to avoid the drop from Senior One, they plan to fight every step of the way over the coming weeks of the season.

The visitors created their first scoring opportunity in the 4th minute when Adam McKee set Chris Taylor away on a run but he opted to find a team mate instead of testing the 'keeper.

Three minutes later Richard Owens lost possession but an Antrim forward was denied by McCready who produced a great save. The ball went out for a long corner but arguing by the visiting defenders saw the umpire award a short corner instead and Alan Mullan punished the indiscipline by giving his side the lead.

Brownlee thought he had doubled Antrim's advantage in the 11th minute, but McCready produced a great save. It was all Antrim at this stage and the Down defence was being overworked.

Five minutes before the break Taylor set up White but the latter was robbed by a defender just as he was about to pull the trigger and then during the final action of the half, McKee set up Chris Lennon who miss-hit his shot and while the ball evaded the 'keeper, it was cleared by a defender.

Mullan scored his second of the game in the 42nd minute to give his side a two-goal cushion after McCready had produced the initial save from a short corner. Down made it 2-1 in the 57th minute when White set up Owens at a short corner and the midfielder scored.

Chris Ferguson produced a great tackle to prevent Antrim going 3-1 ahead in the 64th minute while McCready denied Mullan two minutes later from a short corner. With a minute to go McVeigh couldn't control the ball with just the 'keeper to beat and the same player was then unfortunate to get in the way of that White short corner piledriver.