The Eagles of Eccleshill have far from soared this season but they did manage a late rally to restore some pride.

Their campaign is over now as their last fixture, a 6-2 home defeat to fourth-placed Staveley Miners Welfare, was yesterday evening and ended a hectic spell of three games in six days. But even before that match they had ensured they could not finish in the bottom two.

Secretary Brian Bell said: “I don’t think there was ever a relegation issue but it was important to stay out of the bottom two places for the sake of confidence around the club.

“It was a nightmare season last year, and it extended into this one, but several changes to every aspect of the club seems to have brought us out of the tailspin. Mark Senior has done a great job since he came in as first-team manager.

“I don’t think the two clubs below us will have any worries either because the NCE League is rather more likely to let two clubs in than get rid of two. The last we heard was that five clubs had been given permission to apply to join Division One.

“Two dropped out early in the race and then another one went, so it is down to two. If they can satisfy the ground grading criteria they may both get in as the league would like 20 clubs in each of its two divisions and there are only 18 in Division One at the moment.”