LOCHORE Welfare will be playing in the East Super League next season for the first time.

The Welfare got the result at Harthill they needed to ensure the step-up.

Harthill Royal 2,

Lochore Welfare 2.

THE Welfare went to Harthill in their closing South Division game knowing that they needed to get the point to finish fifth.

Due to some more clubs moving to the East of Scotland League, the top five of the South Division are going up but possibly Harthill could still make it.

Lochore knew that Harthill would be equally as keen to finish in the top five but the Crosshill team made a great start to the game.

Lochore forced a corner in five minutes and the ball fell to Ewan Sutherland and he fired home.

There were other chances for the visitors but they failed to add to their tally and a minute before the break ‘keeper Gary Inglis spilled the ball and Royal levelled.

The bumpy pitch did not make creative play easy and play became scrappy but 20 minutes from time Lochore went in front again when Scott Renton finished well.

It looked like the Welfare could hang on but Harthill got the break they needed to square things.

The game ended level and Lochore finished on 34 points, the same as fourth top Bathgate, but one goal worse off than Thistle, but importantly three clear of Harthill.

Lochore boss James Adam was delighted to get over the line: “Our secretary managed to get confirmation before the game that we needed to finish in the top five to go up but we went with our normal system looking to win it.

“The problem for us was that the very narrow pitch kind of made life difficult for our wide players to make their usual impact on the game.

“However, we did create a few good chances and should have won it but the thing is we are in the Super League and that was our target from the turn of the year.”

But there is still League Cup action to come for Lochore after beating Kennoway Star Hearts last Wednesday to qualify for the knock-out stages and the manager added: “We have a quarter-final tie against Glenrothes at Warout this weekend and hopefully we can win that one and get through to the semis.

“It adds spice to the end of a great season for the club.”

Meanwhile Crossgates Primrose have their own cup agenda this week. On Friday night they play Tranent away in the King Cup semis.

Fixtures, Friday, King Cup semi-final, Tranent v Crossgates Primrose (7pm). Saturday, Consolation League Cup quarter-final, Glenrothes v Lochore Welfare (2.30).