Academy retain Section 2 status

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LARNE’S defeat to Saintfield on Sunday guaranteed Academy continued NCU Section 2 status next season.

Heavy rain had completely washed out Saturday’s local cricket programme, but thanks to the quick-drying surface at Sandy Bay, Larne were able to stage their scheduled match against Saintfield on Sunday.

However, the Saintfield win doomed Gareth Gaw’s men to Section 3 next season.

With Cregagh already relegated, Academy have one fixture to fulfil, and the Hydepark lads are a vital four points better off.

Larne’s game with Cregagh was postponed and declared void by both teams, handing Academy the right to play in Senior 2 in 2014.

Even if Larne’s game with Cregagh had gone ahead at a future date, they would have required a huge margin of victory because of Academy’s superior net run-rate.

Academy secretary Jack Quinn said: “We have performed erratically this season due mainly to key players being often missing.

“We have seldom been out of the bottom two, and in recent weeks it became increasingly obvious that we would be battling it out with Larne to avoid relegation.

“They always had a couple of games in hand, but they have been unable to convert these into points.”

With the table now showing Larne are down, Academy can relax as they prepare for their one remaining fixture - at home to Armagh - which should be rearranged for this weekend.

The heavy rain at the weekend put paid to Templepatrick’s scheduled clash with Ulster Bank League Section 2 champions, Muckamore. TCC take on Derriaghy at The Cloughan this weekend.