Belfast Telegraph

Relegated Distillery and DC could be given lifeline

By Keith Bailie

Bangor and Limavady United's failure to secure a Championship Licence could throw Lisburn Distillery and Donegal Celtic an unlikely lifeline.

Both the Whites and DC have already been relegated from Championship One, managing just three wins between them.

However, the news that Championship One club Bangor and Championship Two title hopefuls Limavady United will not receive a Championship Licence could mean that the Northern Ireland Football League Championship committee are forced into a difficult decision.

With Championship One set to be reduced from 14 to 12 teams, three clubs were due to be automatically relegated, with the winners of Championship Two promoted.

The 11th-placed side in Championship One would then play the second-placed club in Championship Two. However, you can only take your place if you receive a Championship Licence.

Now, if Limavady win Championship Two, no club will earn automatic promotion on the pitch. With nothing hard and fast in the rules, the Championship Committee have the power to select the Championship's 12th team.

They could promote whoever finishes second in Championship Two or order a play-off between the Championship Two runner-ups and the club that finishes 13th in Championship One.

PSNI have a licence, so some confusion may be avoided if they land the Championship Two title.

The Police, who have a two-point lead over Limavady, host Dollingstown today, while the Roesiders travel to promotion outsiders Sport & Leisure Swifts.

Bangor host Donegal Celtic while Lisburn Distillery travel to Dergview. Both the Whites and DC will be hoping for a win in the hope that 13th place is gifted a get out of jail free card.

Belfast Telegraph


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