Lisburn Rangers and Downshire steal the show

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Harry Allen looks at how local teams fared last season

Lisburn Rangers and Downshire stole the show among the local teams competing in other Leagues last season and both move up a Division in the NI Amateur League next term.

Rangers came with a great finishing run to finish second to Raythfriland Rangers in 1A and will compete at the top level next season. Interesting to see if they can compete with the best and move the club forward. The seconds play in Division 3A and would be hoping to keep a big presence there.

Downshire have had a few frustrating years but pipped Mossley to the Amateur League 1C title and will hope this is the beginning of a new era. The seconds are in 3C.

Crumlin Utd and Derriaghy CC are two other teams already in the Premier Division and they maintained their status reasonably comfortably. Derriaghy II need to watch themselves in 3B though.

Dunmurry Rec went down to 1A along with Lisburn Rangers. They appeared likely to gain promotion at one stage but slipped up later. The seconds could do with a move up to 3A.

Dromara Village showed a lot of promise over the past few years but have slipped out of 1A to be replaced by local rivals, Ballynahinch Olympic, who won 1B. Ballynahinch Utd finished fifth in this Division..

Dunmurry YM finished in mid-table in 1c and Dromore Amateurs narrowly avoided relegation in the sane Division.

Suffolk have had better seasons in 2A but they still finished fifth, while Finaghy, who “disappeared’’ for a while after leaving the old Lisburn League will compete in 2A next season. Drumbo FC go the other way out of 2B.

In the Mid Ulster League Crewe Utd finished fifth in Intermediate A, with Ballymacash Rangers three places further back and Lower Maze relegated.

Glenavy finished mid-table in Division 2, as Did Aghalee Village and Hillsborough Boys in Division 3. Sporting Lisburn also gained a mid table spot in Division 4, but The Dons were relegated.

In the Reserve Championship Ballymacash Rangers Res were again in a mid-table spot, but Crewe Utd Res were relegated. In Reserve 1, Lower Maze Res were four from the bottom, but Glenavy Res were relegated.

The biggest local concern was, of course, Lisburn Distillery.s surrender in Championship 1. They have a new management team, who hopefully can pull them round, but it will not be easy.