Tandragee Rovers manager Scott Walker took time out of Tuesday’s title celebrations to emphasis Mid-Ulster glory is just the start for his Madden Road squad.
Goals by Mark Bicker and Dean McCammon wrapped up a 2-0 victory at home to Newry City AFC for a midweek win from a match which required Rovers to avoid defeat to become top-flight champions.
Rovers had gained a significant step towards the main prize with a weekend defeat of Fivemiletown United by 3-1 following goals from AJ Gallagher, Cecil Corbett and Bicker.
A 16th win of the 22-game Intermediate A programme secured a return to Madden Road of Mid-Ulster football’s main league prize.
“All credit goes to the players for getting us over the line,” said Walker. “We may not have put our application together in time for promotion to the Championship but this club certainly has the desire and quality to push on.
“The plans remain in place to progress and everything is here at this club to allow that to happen.
All credit goes to the players for getting us over the lineScott Walker
“You look at how other clubs have moved on from this level in recent years and, as far as I know, the majority of players will be staying.
“Cup wins are great and any trophy is something special.
“However, you always get judged on league form.
“That Newry match marked something like 52 or 53 games for us over the season in league and cup fixtures.
“At one stage, we had an unbeaten record stretching back 30 games so that is a real testament to the squad.
“There was a period recently when we suffered a few setbacks in a short space of time.
“You could see that, with so many games in hand, it maybe played on the minds of the players.
“We made a few mistakes and didn’t get the rub of the green but then regrouped and got the results we needed, with four wins and a draw from the final five.”