Armagh City secured their place in the Belfast Telegraph Division One next season after a hard fought 2-0 victory over Newington YC at Holm Park on Saturday.
And, now that promotion has been ensured, City will hope to wrap up the league title when they meet Banbridge Town this Tuesday evening, (7.45pm kick-off), again in Armagh.
On Saturday visitors Newington pushed the local side all the way and were unlucky not to get something out of the game for their sterling efforts.
City began strongly and both the prolific Stephen Murray and midfielder Eamon Kelly missed out with good headed chances.
Armagh’s Gavin McParland also had a powerful shot blocked in the penalty area while, at the other end of the park, Conal Burns could have been the Newington hero but blasted wide when well placed.
In an intense encounter the defences dominated and, as a result, the match was scoreless at the break.
After the interval, however, City did grab the initiative with a stunning move on 53 minutes.
Under pressure Armagh cleared the ball into midfield and Shea McGerrigan found Murray wide on the right. He raced forward and, as ‘keeper Dean Smyth came out to close him down, the big striker unselfishly squared the ball into the path of partner Gavin McParland who tucked the ball into an empty net from close range.
With 10 minutes remaining Armagh wrapped up the win when an inch-perfect cross from sub Matthew Hynds was met at the back-post by Kelly who made no mistake this time around.
Prompted by Chris McVall and Burns, Newington tried to get back into the match but City shut up shop and cancelled out all attacking attempts by the Belfast side.
Generous sponsors of the match were Hudson’s Trailers, Armagh.