THE champagne corks will be popping at The Cloughan following Templepatrick’s promotion.
Ricky Greer’s lads will be playing in the Senior League Section 1 next season, and they are hoping they will go up as Section 2 champions.
Currently they sit in pole position with 48 points, but they could still be overtaken by Laurelvale who are on 46 with one fixture remaining.
Unfortunately for the ‘Patrick lads, Laurelvale have a superior run-rate, so they will be hoping Millpark will do them a favour by coming out on top against the County Armagh team in that outstanding game.
Cooke Collegians, who were in pole position in the first half of the season, blew up in the run-in and dropped out of the honours.
“We finished our programme early and had to sweat it out to see how our main rivals fared,” said skipper Greer.
“We reckoned that Cooke Collegians were the main threat, but needing one win to secure promotion with three fixtures remaining, they lost all three and will remain in Section 2.
“Gaining promotion to Section 1 is a major achievement for Templepatrick Cricket Club, and we will be looking forward to locking horns in local derbies with Carrick, Muckamore and Cliftonville.
“Carrick have just been demoted from the Premier League, so it will be quite a challenge especially for our younger players to play against such experienced opposition.
“The question of appointing a professional is unlikely to being on the immediate agenda owing to the costs involved, but we will address that issue in the long-term.
“Last season, after finishing as joint league winners, we failed to gain promotion owing to a restructuring of the leagues, so we are doubly delighted to be moving up this time.
“The celebrations will be on hold until our annual dinner on Saturday, October 13, when I expect there will be a record turnout to celebrate our new status. The guest speaker will be the Ireland international, Andrew White, who was involved in the Twenty20 World Cup, so we are all looking forward to hearing from him.” Tickets for the dinner now available costing £20.