Promotion!

14 June 2012
Well, it certainly wasn't pretty, but Naomh Una fell over the line to gain promotion to Division 3 of the ACFL despite a fairly dismal second-half capitulation to a vastly improved St Malachy's at Pairc Naomh Una. The players and management will feel that over the course of a long season they had earned the right to finish it their own way, but some things are not meant to be. Nevertheless, St Galls' one point loss at St Paul's means that the Aggies can now only finish in the top two and are assured promotion to the third tier of football in Antrim.

The contest as Woodlands had a championship air to it, the Aggies needing to win to guarantee promotion, while St Malachy's were staring relegation in the face after their terrible start to the season. The south Belfasters had managed only two wins in their first nine games before springing to life with victory over Lamh Dhearg in round 10.

St Malachy's started more sharply with two well taken points before Kevin Grieve hit back with a superb 1-1 of his own to seemingly settle the Aggies' nerves. But an opportunist goal, fisted to the back of the net from a high ball got the visitors into their stride and despite the Aggies keeping in touch until a second Malachy's goal midway through the second half, they were never any closer than two points.

There was an air of intense disappointment following the game as the Aggies thought they would have to wait three weeks before their next tilt at promotion at Miltown on July 1st. But the mood changed later in the evening when the result from St Paul's filtered through, and with one major hurdle overcome, the footballers can now breathe a huge sigh of relief and recharge the batteries before they make one last tilt at securing the league title itself. Only St John's, currently residing two points behind the Aggies, can take the cup away from the Aggies, with the final game between the two sides at Corrigan Park almost certain to decide the eventual outcome.