Two points out of their last 21 meant Rathfern Rangers ended their season seventh in Amateur League 1b, one place lower than last season.
On Saturday, 1st Bangor Old Boys got the point they needed to cement that second promotion slot, after a 3-1 win at Drome Park. David Moore got the Rangers goal.
Earlier in the week, Rathfern drew 0-0 away to Ballynahinch Olympic at Bellsbridge, Dromara.
It meant that they finished five points behind fourth placed Portaferry Rovers, who themselves were 20 adrift of third placed Newcastle.
As Rathfern manager Bill Campbell explained: “The top three of East Belfast, 1st Bangor and Newcastle were out on their own, but after that, there was ourselves, Portaferry and the two Ballynahinch teams, Olympic and United in a bunch, fighting it out for fourth place.
“At the start of the season, our aim was to finish fourth, but losing 8-2 at Ballywalter under horrendous conditions was a turning point.
“We never won another game after that, although we should have won at East Belfast the Saturday before last, leading 2-1 going into the 90th minute, and losing 3-2.
“Gary Orr got the two goals, giving him 32 for the season, just three short of the year before. I couldn’t ask for any more.
“It’s disappointing the way the season panned out, one place down on last year.
“At Christmas, we were sitting third and well on target for the top four, but the bad run at the end of the season has cost us dearly. We’ll just have to come back fighting next year.
“It could be an even league next season – so many teams are good at home, though have problems away.
“Hopefully we’ll take things on a bit further. We’re not that far away, it’s just that little bit of consistency we lack and that’s something we’re very much trying to improve.”