Cambridge face two-legged play-off series

Cambridge face two-legged play-off series

With the Loaded WaiBOP Premiership title wrapped up, Cambridge now await details of the anticipated play-off series for the chance to win promotion to footballís Northern League.

Northern League rules say promotion to the competitionís second division is decided by a play-off between the WaiBOP champions and the second-placed club in the Auckland/Northern Football Conference.

Conference winners Bucklands Beach have been automatically promoted to next yearís NRFL while runners-up Beachlands-Maraetai are expected to go into the play-off against Cambridge.

Under NRFL rules, the play-off rivals decide through a coin toss which of the two legs is played at home first.

The aggregate score from the two legs decides who is promoted.

Dates have yet to be agreed but Cambridge still have one Premiership fixture to play (against Melville United at Gower Park on September 16), meaning the first available Saturdays are September 23 and 30.

For the NRFL second division in 2018, Bucklands Beach and the play-off winners will replace relegated sides Papatoetoe and Onehunga Mangere.

If Cambridge win promotion, they will be competing next year against current second division sides Northland, five Auckland clubs (Takapuna, Mangere United, Papakura City, Albany United, Te Atatu) and two WaiBOP clubs (Claudelands Rovers and Ngongotaha).

Auckland clubs Metro and Franklin United will go into the 2018 second division after being relegated this year from division one.

Hamiltonís Claudelands Rovers have competed in the division since winning promotion in 2014 and Ngongotaha have finished mid-table at their first attempt after earning promotion last year.

Ngaruawahia United withdrew from the second divison last year, opting to restructure their club with the first team now competing in the Waikato A division.

Cambridge last played in the Northern League in 2011 but were relegated and forced to rebuild in the WaiBOP Championship (runners-up and promoted in 2012) and the WaiBOP Premiership (champions in 2015 and 2017, and runners-up in 2016).

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Date Added: Monday, 11th September 2017
Link: Reds clinch Loaded WaiBOP Premiership title with 7-0 win at Te Awamutu