Cregagh secured their place in next season's Premier League with a seven wicket win over Saintfield but the Title went to Cliftonville Academy on Nett Run Rate.

The Section One title race was always going to be a close run thing with two places in the Premier League at stake and three sides locked together throughout the season.

Cregagh who are promoted to the Premier League

In any other year Derriaghy's fifteen wins would surely have been enough to claim a place if not the title itself but not this season.

With Cliftonville Academy already assured of one of the promotion places, today's game at Cregagh would decide the title and the final PL spot for next year.

A win for Cregagh would earn them promotion but it would take a 'big' win for them to overtake Cliftonville Academy's NRR and pip them to the crown.

In the end they did achieve the win and promotion, but it took them a couple of overs too many to top the table.

The Saintfield innings set off at quite a pace with 25 coming off the first 3 overs for the loss of Ross Murray. Adam Reid and Ryan Smyth ended up at the same end when Reid called for a single that was turned down but Smyth and Bryon Woodruff kept the score moving along, taking the score to 89/2 in just the 12th over.

Ryan Smyth is bowled 

Adam Beattie struck two blows in as many balls, first he bowled Smyth and then TJ McCavera first ball and when Woodruff fell to catch in the deep suddenly Sainfield had slipped to 89/5 and the lower order was exposed.

Adam Sofley and Calvin Yeates raised the hundred but Boultwood and Beattie kept things in check and the Saintfield total of 133 was quite a few less than Cregagh might have feared in the earlier stages of the innings.

A win and promotion was Cregagh's first objective but with Jay Hunter and Jonny Moore opening there was always the chance that if they got away a win inside the thirteen overs or so that would give them the title was a possibility.

Jay Hunter scored 56 to pass the 1000 run landmark for the season

The pair put on 120 for the first wicket but when it fell in the 14th over the watching Cliftonville Academy players already knew they were the Section 1 champions.

Aaron Johnston might have hoped that he, as Cregagh captain, would hit the winning runs to take them into the top flight but Byron Woodruff spun one past his defences and it would be Craig Boultwood and Mark Johnston who would tuck away the singles that saw them home by seven wickets in the seventeenth over.

Cliftonville Academy captain Adam Kelso with the trophy

Section One

Cregagh Memorial Recreation Ground, 5 September.

Cregagh beat Saintfield by 7 wickets and are promoted to the Premier League.

Saintfield 133/9 (20 overs: R Smyth 33, A Reid 30, B Woodruff 25, A Sofley 20; A Beattie 3-13, R Boultwood 3-21)

Cregagh 134/3 (16.2 overs: J Hunter 56, J Moore 55)