It all came down to the very last game involving Newport and Leeds. Marlins needed Leeds to win as it would have left Marlins and Newport level on seven points in fifth and sixth places – but with Marlins taking precedence on the basis of a single-goal victory when those teams met earlier in the season!
In the event, Newport saved their bacon by beating Leeds. But it was only by 10-9 and courtesy of a winning goal from Isaac Bowen just a minute from the end. In the later stages, Leeds had raised Invicta’s hopes by fighting back from 7-4 down to level at 9-9.
So it’s Invicta, Chelmsford and Watford Saxons who will drop out in the second half of the season, with the option of applying for readmission in 2020/21 via the qualification tournament.
Invicta Marlins were well beaten in their final game – 14-7 by Sheffield Dolphins, who join Caledonia Storm, Newport, Chester and Leeds in Championship 4.