HILL of Beath Hawthorn finished runners-up in the first East of Scotland Premier Division.

The EoS Association decided to call it a day a week past Wednesday, through the coronavirus crisis deciding on the overall positions by the points per game ratio used by the SPFL.

It saw Haws leap above Broxburn to second spot and meanwhile Dundonald Bluebell dropped down one to seventh with Jeanfield Swifts going just above the, and Crossgates Primrose remain in a very safe 12th.

At that meeting the Association admitted all the clubs bar one who had applied to join their set-up including Lochore Welfare and Lochgelly Albert and to go with an 18 team Premier Division next term.

Crossgates boss Alan Campbell says he would like to see an increased East of Scotland League Premier Division permanently.

It was agreed that there would be no relegation while the winners of Conference A and Conference B of the First Division – Lothian Thistle and Tynecastle – will be promoted.

That means the Premier Division will feature 18 teams for next season and, if its winners for 2019/20, Bo’ness United, are admitted to the Lowland League, Inverkeithing Hillfield Swifts, as the Conference runners-up with the highest points-per- game average, will take their place.

Nine new clubs – including Rosyth – and Eyemouth United, returning after a season out, will be part of the East of Scotland League structure next season, and Alan would have welcomed a larger Premier Division for more than one campaign.

“There’s not a huge difference going from 16 to 18 teams,” he said.

“I would have kept it at 18 teams. The West of Scotland Football League (newly-created for next season) has got a new Premier League with 20 teams in it, and we’ve got new teams that are coming over, so why not make a Premier League with 18-20 teams?

“But I think that the league have done the right thing by not relegating teams, having promotion and making the league bigger.”

Asked whether he felt calling a halt to the season was the right decision, Alan continued: “They probably have come to the right decision, although it does feel like a lot of hard work has been wasted, as much as we were safe and in mid-table.

“Eight or nine months’ work didn’t really stand for anything but it is a unique decision. I think some clubs in the leagues below have missed out on the opportunity for promotion but we need to accept the decision.”

The club, in a statement released at the weekend, added: “As many will now know, the EoSL members recently voted to end all league and cup competitions for season 2019/20. We therefore wish to congratulate Premier League winners Bo’ness United and Conference winners Tynecastle and Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale respectively.

“As a consequence of this decision, we retain our place in next season’s Premier League, which for one season only, will increase to an 18-team league. It is now a case of waiting to see when we can safely return to competitive action.”