In the Division 2 finale at East Manchester, Watford and City of Bristol drew 13-13. This gave Watford the point they needed to progress to Championship 1 alongside Welsh Wanderers, Sutton & Cheam, City of Bristol and Exeter.
Portobello finished level on points with Exeter. But Exeter’s narrow victory – 15-14 – over the Scots earlier in the day left Portobello in sixth place and heading for Championship 2 alongside Otter and Manchester Hawks.
At Gloucester, it was just as close in Division 3. Cheltenham Spartans needed victory over Croydon Amphibians in the final game to finish in the top five and they managed it – 19-16. The other Championship 2 qualifiers are Rotherham Metro, Hucknall, Southampton and Castleford. As the sixth team, Croydon miss out of phase two of the season but are guaranteed Division 3 entry in the 2023/24 season.
For Worthing and the British Army, placed seventh and eighth, it’s a matter of preparing for the play-off tournament in April, when they are likely to face the leading teams of Division 4, Sedgefield and Bridgefield.
Photo (Trevor Hyde): Cody Plumridge, whose fourth goal secured Exeter's vital 15-14 victory over Portobello.