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Dollingstown promoted to NI Football League as opponents withdraw from play-off over costs

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Aaron Duke and his Dollingstown side will play in the NI Football League next season.

Aaron Duke and his Dollingstown side will play in the NI Football League next season.

Photo by TONY HENDRON/Presseye.com.

Aaron Duke and his Dollingstown side will play in the NI Football League next season.

Dollingstown will play in the Bluefin Sport Premier Intermediate League next season.

The Mid-Ulster Football League champions were due to face Ballymena & Provincial Intermediate League winners Glebe Rangers in a two-legged play-off this weekend.

However, Glebe have now decided not to continue in their quest for promotion to the third tier of Northern Irish football, citing costs as their concern.

“This is not a decision which has been taken lightly and is simply down to the financial requirements of playing in the PIL," said club sposeman John McAuley.

“It would cost an additional 50% to make the step up and as a result of the current economic climate, the club have failed to secure the required backing from a number of potential sponsors.

“We will continue to work hard behind the scenes in the hope of overcoming this issue to avoid the same situation in the future as the club's ambitions are still to play at the highest level possible within our capabilities.

“On behalf of the club, I would like to wish Dollingstown all the best in the Premier Intermediate League next season.”

Dollingstown will take the place of Donegal Celtic, who finished bottom of the Premier Intermediate League and have been relegated. The Dollybirds, who won the MUFL's Intermediate A by a point from Banbridge Rangers, were beaten by Portstewart in last season's promotion play-off.

The club's first stint in the NI Football League ended when they were relegated on the final day of the 15/16 season.

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