Hill of Beath Hawthorn 2 Inverkeithing Hillfield Swifts 1, East of Scotland League, Premier Division

SWIFTS saw their battle to avoid relegation end in disappointment on Saturday as defeat at Hill of Beath Hawthorn sent them down to the First Division.

Jason McCrindle's team had given themselves a lifeline by beating drop rivals Glenrothes in their previous game, and went into the final day in the last relegation spot.

However, although they were level on points with Glenrothes, their rivals superior goal difference meant they had to better their result, but defeat at Keirs Park ended their hopes.

Johnny Galloway gave the Haws a 17th minute lead and, although Ben Finnan equalised early in the second half, Dan Watt's winner for the hosts condemned the East of Scotland Qualifying Cup winners to the drop.

"We were in a position that we didn't really want to be in but, for any negative, you've got to then try and look at the positives really quickly," McCrindle said.

"For us it's just about trying to make sure that we're ready for next season. We've already started to get to work. I've had good conversations with some of the players, and we're speaking to new players for coming in, so it's not really time for rest and moping about.

"We need to really be positive and be looking forward."

Dunfermline Press: Jason McCrindle (left) will be aiming to bring Swifts back up next season.Jason McCrindle (left) will be aiming to bring Swifts back up next season. (Image: David Wardle.)

The Swifts boss, who took over in November and agreed a new two-year deal with the club last month, said it had been a bittersweet campaign but believes their historic cup win can help them in their bid for promotion next term.

"It's a wee bit bittersweet but nobody can take that (the cup win) away from us now," he said.

"We've got that, we remember that day, we remembered that feeling, and we said to the guys after Saturday remember how this feels.

"We need to have more days where we remember days like the cup final, rather than how we felt on Saturday.

"I think the motivation for the players is to make sure that they have more good days in terms of the feeling after winning the cup, rather than what happened on Saturday.

"It was always going to be a long shot on Saturday to try and avoid it. It was always going to be tough, but I think we just need to be positive and look forward.

"We've already started to do all the hard work for pre-season."

Both Glenrothes and Luncarty, who began the day just a point outside the drop zone, won their matches, which meant that even a Swifts victory wouldn't have been enough.

When asked if that had softened the blow any, McCrindle replied:"To be honest, what they did and how they did wasn't really my concern. I was more focused on us.

"It was always going to be a slight chance. We beat Glenrothes the week before, so we gave ourselves an opportunity, and we took it to the last game of the season, so we approached the last game of the season with something to play for.

"But, even if we had won, it still wouldn't have mattered. How we felt on Saturday after the game, we just need to make sure that the guys remember that feeling, and hope that they don't have that feeling again any time soon."

Broxburn Athletic 3 Crossgates Primrose 2, East of Scotland League, Premier Division

ALREADY relegated Primrose ended their Premier Division campaign by losing out by the odd-goal-in-five at champions Broxburn Athletic.

Alan Campbell's team saw their hopes of staying in the division came to an end last midweek courtesy of a defeat to Haddington Athletic, who they face this weekend in the quarter-finals of the League Cup.

Mark Munro and Errol Douglas put Broxburn two goals up at the break but Crossgates fought back to level in the second half, thanks to efforts from David Cross and Craig Henderson.

However, hopes of picking up a point were dashed when Douglas netted his second of the day with 13 minutes left.

"We've came up short," Campbell commented.

"A lot of people are thinking that we're maybe devastated and gutted, and all that kind of thing, which I suppose is true, but to an extent, I think we've seen it coming.

"We've had what I would call underperformance in the club for the best part of 18 months, and I'm afraid that it's obviously resulted in us going down.

"It's staring you right in the face. We've won five games this year, so we've kind of been put out of our misery a bit. We've not been good enough, right through the whole club, right through the whole team. As I say, underperformance from all parts.

"Reflecting on it, I think we knew it was coming. I'll always try and put a positive spin on it and I think it gives us a chance to regroup and almost press the reset button and start again.

"I think from that point of view, that's the way I'm looking at it. No complaints - we've not been good enough. We'll take our medicine, we'll take it on the chin, and we'll try and regroup, we'll try and rebuild, and come back stronger."

Camelon Juniors 4 Oakley United 0, East of Scotland League, First Division

OAKLEY UNITED boss Peter Goldie believes inexperience was a major factor in his team suffering a second successive relegation.

The Blairwood Park outfit, who dropped down from the Premier Division last year, will be playing Second Division football next year after a tough campaign.

Their fate was sealed last midweek, with a loss at home to Kirkcaldy and Dysart, and a 2-0 defeat at home to Lochore Welfare last Thursday evening was followed by falling to Camelon Juniors on Saturday.

The Mariners, managed by former Dunfermline Athletic hero Allan Moore, were two goals up at the break thanks to James Finlay and Sam Collumbine, before Collumbine's second of the day, and an effort from Gregg Wylde, sealed their win.

On his side's relegation, Goldie said: "It's been difficult with injuries and young boys. The mistakes we make are criminal at times.

"We try to play football and, to be honest, that's the way I want to play. I want to try and play football but we need to be a bit more streetwise.

"It's about building for next season and the aim next year is, if we can keep the squad together, then we're good enough to try and come back up.

"To be honest, we're good enough to play in the First Division, it's just the inexperience has cost us this year, and a wee bit of luck.

"I was quite confident that the team we had this year could've stayed up, but obviously a wee bit of inexperience, and then you lose silly goals at crucial times - the amount of goals we lose either just before half-time, or just after half-time, it puts you out the game."

Saturday's fixtures (kick-offs 2.30pm): East of Scotland League Cup, quarter-final: Haddington Athletic v Crossgates Primrose. East of Scotland League, First Division: Oakley United v Preston Athletic.