Park Celtic marked their return to the Leinster Senior League with promotion from Sunday Premier 1 at the first attempt.
The Cabinteely side finished second behind Blanch side Corduff, five points behind the league winners but good enough to earn a spot in Sunday Premier for next season.
Celtic were on course to win the title before a disastrous run of three defeats in six days – including one away to Corduff – meant they had to settle for second place.
They spent a couple of seasons in the Leinster Football League and, last year, the Wicklow League before making the step back up to regional level.
Originally, they were the club second team, comprising mainly players just out of schoolboy football, they took over the mantle when the first team folded two years ago.
Under the stewardship of their coach Assie Sattar, the team have been revitalised and have set their sights on a Sunday Premier title next year to make up for the one that got away this season.
“We felt we should have won the league,” Park Celtic captain Conor Langan told the Dublin Gazette.
“If we hadn’t had those bad six days, we’d have won it with a game to spare, but to finish second and get promoted in our first season in the Leinster Senior League, it’s a very successful season.
“We wanted promotion from the start and we thought we could win the league. That was our ambition. Falling short at the final hurdle was disappointing but we have a young team.
“Most of the lads are still in college, or it’s only their second or third year playing senior football, so we’re very ambitious for next season.”
The players themselves are a mix of players from the old Park Celtic senior side, and players who came through at Park and Granada who wanted to continue playing after schoolboy level.
“We were all mates. A lot of us came from the same school, CBC Monkstown, and a lot of us came from Granada or younger Park Celtic teams.
“The Granada team that a lot of the players came from had finished up, and Park Celtic teams had finished up, so there was a great core group of players who wanted to play football.
“Luckily Assie Sattar was willing to take a team. People are impressed at Assie’s style of coaching. We train twice a week and we take our matches seriously, which not a lot of people seem to do.
“We’ve always been competitive, we’ve always been ambitious, and once we hit the Leinster Senior League it’s kicked on from there.”