A RESTRUCTURING of the three East leagues means Langholm RFC have been denied the promotion they celebrated at the end of the season.
Rather than two teams being moved up into East League 1, in this case Hawick Linden and Langholm, the leagues were restructured last week, leaving the Milntown club very disappointed by the decision.
The meeting of the East League regional teams included all Borders, East Lothian and Edinburgh teams. These teams make up the current East 1, 2 and 3 leagues.
The meeting, held in Earlston and attended by Langholm secretary Catriona Bell, heard that, because both teams being relegated from National League 3 were East teams – Haddington and St Boswells – this meant the East leagues had to be restructured.
The regional committee had proposed that the 28 teams in leagues 1 to 3 should be organised into two leagues of 10 teams (1 and 2 ) and one of eight teams (3).
This proposal was carried but the only way to achieve this 10-10-8 structure was to either relegate four teams from East League 1 into 2 and move promoted Hawick Linden and Langholm into East 1 or relegate three teams into East 2 and move only Hawick Linden into East 1.
The vote was in favour, by a large majority of Edinburgh and East Lothian clubs, of only three teams being relegated so Langholm will not move up into East League 1 next season.
This is disappointing for the club after having done everything this season to be in second spot in the league, which would normally mean promotion.
Catriona expressed the club’s disappointment in the strongest possible terms.
Coach Craig Hislop said he and the players were naturally disappointed with the outcome but now knew exactly what they needed to do next season and which clubs they would play.
Borders teams Gala YM and Earlston were moved down into East League 3 and, with Hawick Linden promoted to East 1, there will be no Borders teams in Langholm’s league next season so all away games will be in Edinburgh and East Lothian.
The teams Langholm are likely to play, although this is to be fully confirmed, are Broughton, Portobello, Livingston, Leith, Dunbar, Trinity Accies, Penicuik, Corstorphine and Inverleith.