GLENVILLE produced a late flourish that will live long in the memory on Tuesday night to see off Rathcoole Boys and guarantee promotion up to LSL Sunday Senior 1.
David Martin’s goal with one minute remaining at Frank Cox Park put them in dreamland after a tension-fuelled night with their hopes still in the balance right to the end.
Mark Fogarty added a second goal in injury time to seal the deal, meaning the nervous checking of Twitter and for texts from down the road in John Hyland Park where Killester and St Francis were battling for the same goal dissipated in jig-time.
Before the game, the equation was simple for the Glenners. Win and they were promoted, draw and their fate was at the mercy of results elsewhere and lose and their hopes were dust.
And manager Wayne Kelly sent the team out with a hugely positive intent but his side found the killer chance just out of reach.
Killester had nicked a half-time lead but had Francis equalised, it would have left Glenville in serious trouble and the nerves permeated onto the pitch.
Numerous corners had just too much weight on them while over-eager strikers strayed inches offside on regular occasions until right at the death when an initial clearance was returned to the danger zone.
Martin was just onside and in behind the last Rathcoole line of defence and he coolly slid home before being mobbed by his ecstatic team mates.
Centre half Fogarty nodded home from a corner soon after to make it 2-0 before the full celebrations kicked off on the final whistle.
It provides a huge boost for the club as they take on Airtricity Premier Division side Limerick on Saturday at 3pm in Whitehall.
Kelly believes his side can go into that tie with plenty of freedom having achieved the side’s major objective for the season.
“We can now go and enjoy the game against Limerick,” he told GazetteSport. “We know we’ve been promoted, we’ve next season to look forward to. Again, it will help attract players to the club to make us more competitive next year.”
It was the conclusion of Kelly’s first league campaign in charge of the side, helping them finally break out of the division after four years trying.
“We’ve been on a run of winning 12 of our last 13 games and it put us right back in the frame, beating Killester and St Francis back to back in April, and I’m just delighted for the lads.
“We’ve worked hard all year and they have deserved everything they have gotten.”